Fountain of Youth, with caveats | Science News

Love Science? Welcome Home.

Support Amazing Science Journalism.

Create the New Science Generation.


News

Fountain of Youth, with caveats

Resveratrol helps hearts in mice, but doesn’t reproduce all the benefits of low-calorie diets

By
11:09am, July 3, 2008

A substance found in red wine and touted as the chemical equivalent of the fountain of youth probably acts more like a wellspring of health — with warning signs.

Resveratrol, as the chemical is known, does a pretty good job of mimicking some age-defying effects found in studies of animals on calorie-restricted diets. But the substance doesn’t make animals live longer, a new study shows.

At the same time, boosting levels of a key enzyme thought to be responsible for resveratrol action and for the life-extending properties of calorie restriction does protect mice fed high-fat diets from heart problems.

But a third group of researchers warns that more activity of the enzyme, called SirT1, may make brain cells vulnerable to damage.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join the Society today or Log in.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News