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September 25, 2009

Reservations Regarding Resveratrol

http://www.jewishjournal.com/blog/item/reservations_regarding_resveratrol/

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Resveratrol is a chemical found in the skin of red grapes, berries, plums and peanuts.  It is being widely promoted as the latest antiaging wonder drug.  Fortunately, to separate research from hype, this issue of The Medical Letter reviewed the current knowledge on Resveratrol.

Resveratrol has shown some interesting benefits in animal experiments.  In obese mice, it increased insulin sensitivity and longevity.  In non-obese mice it did not improve survival but increased other markers of good health.  In simple organisms, such as yeast, resveratrol increased lifespan by up to 70%.  (My guess is that this is fabulous news for yeast, but not as good if you’re a human with a yeast infection.)

Studies of resveratrol in humans are lacking, so little can be said with confidence about either benefits or side effects.  The authors of The Medical Letter conclude

Resveratrol appears to produce some of the same effects as calorie-restricted diets that have reduced the incidence of age-related diseases in animals. Whether it has any benefit in humans remains to be established.

So I remain squarely in the pro-aging camp, and hope we all stay healthy and safe enough to grow old.

Tangential miscellany:

I’m proud to announce that I have been elected Fellow of the American College of Physicians.  If you’re curious what that means, see the link explaining FACP below.

Learn more:

The Medical Letter review of Resveratrol (by subscription only)

My previous posts on antiaging:

Growth Hormone Doesn’t Help Healthy Older Adults

DHEA and Testosterone Don’t Help Elderly Patients

American College of Physicians website:  FACP - What do these letters after your doctor’s name mean?

Important legal mumbo jumbo:
Anything you read on the web should be used to supplement, not replace, your doctor’s advice.  Anything that I write is no exception.  I’m a doctor, but I’m not your doctor despite the fact that you read or comment on my posts.  Leaving a comment on a post is a wonderful way to enter into a discussion with other readers, but I will not respond to comments (just because of time constraints).

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