Archive for May 12, 2009
Have you tried all the anti-aging secrets and they didn’t work? The anti-aging perfume not taking off as much years as it’s supposed to? The firming cream not firming your skin firmly enough?
Don’t fear! New health research has found two things that may slow aging.
What are they?
Starvation and red wine.
The New York Times has published an article about this. Apparently the market for longevity drugs is growing.
The report is part of a new wave of interest in drugs that may enhance longevity. On Monday, Sirtris, a startup founded in 2004 to develop drugs with the same effects as resveratrol, completed its sale to GlaxoSmithKline for $720 million.
Serious scientists have long derided the idea of life-extending elixirs, but the door has now been opened to drugs that exploit an ancient biological survival mechanism, that of switching the body’s resources from fertility to tissue maintenance. The improved tissue maintenance seems to extend life by cutting down on the degenerative diseases of aging.
The reflex can be prompted by a faminelike diet, known as caloric restriction, which extends the life of laboratory rodents by up to 30 percent but is far too hard for most people to keep to and in any case has not been proven to work in humans.
Research started nearly 20 years ago by Dr. Leonard Guarente of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology showed recently that the famine-induced switch to tissue preservation might be triggered by activating the body’s sirtuins. Dr. Sinclair, a former student of Dr. Guarente, then found in 2003 that sirtuins could be activated by some natural compounds, including resveratrol, previously known as just an ingredient of certain red wines.
Simply stated, starving your body would switch the body’s resources from growing to trying to keep all your organs alive. The improved tissue maintenance (in other words, trying to keep your organs alive) that comes from starving seems to extend life by cutting down on the sicknesses that come with age. And we don’t want that, do we?
Sadly, starvation is too hard for many people to keep to.
I wonder if Nicole Richie knows about these finds.
Apparently, red wine has the same effect. (Bolded so you can find it easily.) Red wine can turn on the tissue-preservation switch as well, which means that you don’t have to starve yourself after all. Just drink plenty of red wine.
Dr. Robert E. Hughes of the Buck Institute for Age Research said there could be no guarantee of success given that most new drug projects fail. But, he said, testing the therapeutic uses of drugs that mimic caloric restriction is a good idea, based on substantial evidence.
But for now, you can be sure that starving yourself and drinking red wine has a good chance of making you live a longer, healthier life.