Resveratrol Increases Life Span In Mice

Study finds increased life span in mice supplemented with resveratrol

Higher vitamin D levels strongly associated with reduced death from all causes over nearly a decade

Friday, March 8, 2013. In an article published online on November 7, 2012 in the journal AGE, researchers in Barcelona, Spain report a life extension benefit for resveratrol, a polyphenol found in grapes, in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease as well as in a group of normal mice. Resveratrol also reduced some of the signs of Alzheimer's disease in animals that received the compound.

The research team utilized an age-accelerated strain of mice (SAMP8) that exhibit memory and learning deficits as well as other neurologic impairments, in addition to such brain pathologies as increased amyloid beta levels and tau hyperphosphorylation. A related strain of animals (SAMR1) was used as a control group.

Beginning at two months of age, the mice were divided to receive a standard diet, or a diet supplemented with resveratrol. In SAMP8 mice fed a standard diet, the median life expectancy was 10.4 months in comparison with the SAMR1 group which survived a median of 17.8 months. However, in SAMP8 mice given resveratrol, median life expectancy increased to 14 months, and SAMR1 mice that received the compound experienced a median life span of 21.8 months. Maximum life span, determined by the longest-lived 20 percent of animals in each group, was also greater in animals that received resveratrol. Analysis of the animals' brains revealed higher levels of SIRT1, a protein activated during calorie restriction, in the resveratrol-fed groups.

To study resveratrol's effect on neurodegeneration, SAMP8 mice were examined after seven months of a standard or resveratrol-enhanced diet. In addition to less memory impairment, animals that received resveratrol had reduced amyloid beta accumulation and phosphorylated tau in comparison with those that did not receive the compound.

"We found that resveratrol supplements increased mean life expectancy and maximal life span in SAMP8 and in their control, the related strain SAMR1," David Porquet and his coauthors write. "It also reduces cognitive impairment and has a neuroprotective role, decreasing the amyloid burden and reducing tau hyperphosphorylation."

They recommend further studies in order to clarify resveratrol's role in life span extension.

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Grape seed and skin protect kidneys against effects of high fat diet

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An article published online on January 7, 2013 in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism reveals the finding of Tunisian researchers of a protective effect for an extract of grape seed and skin against kidney dysfunction in rodents consuming a high fat diet.

In their introduction to the article, Kamel Charradi and associates note that while cellular lipid overload has been associated with the dysfunction of several organs, including the heart and liver, its effect on kidney function is less well understood. However, they remark that lipotoxicity-induced oxidative stress has been found to be involved in the development of a variety of kidney disorders.

The current research was intended to study the association between obesity-induced oxidative stress and kidney dysfunction, and to evaluate the potential protective properties of grape seed and skin extract. Twenty-four rats were divided to receive a high fat diet or standard diet for six weeks. The two groups were subdivided to receive a daily intraperitoneal injection of an extract of grape seed and skin or a control substance. At the end of the experiment, plasma samples were analyzed for indicators of kidney function, and the animals' kidneys were examined for lipid content, oxidative stress and other factors.

Rats that received a high fat diet had increased kidney triglycerides and altered kidney function indicators linked to increased oxidative stress. These effects were reduced among those that received the grape seed/skin extract. The researchers suggest resveratrol, quercetin, catechins or unsaturated fatty acids as possible compounds in grape seed/skin extract that are responsible for the current study's findings.

"The use of an antioxidant as grape seed skin extract could be beneficial in the prevention and treatment of high fat diet-induced kidney disturbances," they conclude.

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