Resveratrol May Not Extend Life

A new meta-analysis finds that resveratrol, currently marketed as a life-extending health supplement, may have a negligible effect on lifespan in humans.

By | June 20, 2012

Brett Jordan" > Flickr, Brett Jordan


Resveratrol, often touted as adding a health benefit of red wine, may not be as good for you as once believed, according to a meta-analysis published today (June 19) in Biology Letters. The effectiveness of resveratol, which has been associated with the life-extending effects of dietary restriction, was assessed by analyzing studies covering 6 species over 19 research papers, and was found to display highly variable results.

In particular, while the life-extending capability of resveratrol seemed to hold true for yeast and nematodes, the same could not be said for flies and mice. Dietary restriction has been shown to work well in extending the lifespan of these animals, however, so resveratrol’s inability to produce such results on its own indicates there is more at work in elongating life. One notable exception was the turquoise killifish, which in one study had a 500 percent decrease in risk of death. Killifish are known to have short lifespans due in part to a high incidence of age dependent neoplasias in the liver and kidney, suggesting resveratrol may be acting on this particular aging mechanism in the killifish.

Resveratrol is in early-stage human trials, and has shown some potential benefits to insulin and metabolic function, but the new analysis suggests it may not live up to the hype.

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Avatar of: IkeRoberts


Posts: 9

June 20, 2012

I suspect that resveratrol, like many nutraceuticals, is effective in the original food matrix. Isolating the compound severely reduces the effect. The meta-analysis only applies to isolated resveratrol. Too bad for pharma and the supplement industries, good for people who eat, and for the fruit and vegetable industries.

Avatar of: DavidS


Posts: 1457

June 20, 2012

Ike, getting rid of 10,000 extraneous variables is the only reasonable way to study a single variable. Easy to say the 'food matrix' [eyes rolling at holistic romanticism] is important, but show me the data.

Avatar of: IkeRoberts


Posts: 9

June 21, 2012

 "Food matrix" is nutritional science jargon, not holistic romanticism. Likewise is you get rid of the important variable, then you eliminate the phenomenon you are trying to study. Your argument is a common one, but the challenge is to address these problems scientifically, not to dismiss them.

Avatar of: Bruce


Posts: 1457

June 24, 2012

Beware metastudies, they compoound errors in the orignal reseach Results of metastudies are most often nonsense.

Avatar of: Ragingrob


Posts: 1

June 25, 2012

i find that the hypothesis of the extraneous arguments, the matrixes, the scientific hyperbole, and all the rest lead us to extrapolate on the obvious...reservatrol is the bomb!

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