We were interested to see in today’s online edition of our hometown newspaper, The New York Times, a news report on the latest research about resveratrol and related compounds:
“Drug Is Found to Extend the Lives of Obese Mice”
The article points to the promise of continuing research on resveratrol derivatives, while also reviewing some of the questions that remain before large-scale human trials of the sort that can lead the breakthroughs in drug development. One of NYBC’s concerns, as always, has been that the real benefits of the non-prescription supplement itself could be ignored in the quest for some patentable super-drug (which would undoubtedly make the pharmaceutical company rich, no doubt!)
So, to review, there have been a number of research developments in just the past couple of years about the basic resveratrol molecule itself–the very same one that you can find in supplements now stocked by NYBC. Here’s an excerpt from our post earlier this year:
For a while it seemed like the excitement about resveratrol–the molecule famously found in red wine–had died down.
A few years ago widely publicized studies showed that resveratrol had potential as a life-extending supplement (it showed that capacity in lab animals). And there was buzz when companies raised hundreds of millions in venture capital to explore the possibilities further. One catch with that high-profile research was that it involved very high doses of resveratrol. (The equivalent of drinking hundreds of bottles of red wine a day!)
However, in just the past couple of years, scientific interest has come back to resveratrol, and this time it is pointing to substantial health benefits without those massive doses.
First, cardiovascular health. In 2009, a Univ. of Wisconsin research team reported that low doses of resveratrol in the diet of middle-aged mice could have many of the same effects as the high dose reseveratrol, especially in terms of protecting heart health. Second, in 2010, Johns Hopkins researchers reported on a mechanism by which resveratrol shielded mice from stroke damage to the brain. A single small dose of the compound increased levels of an enzyme that protects nerve cells in the brain from damage when blood flow is disrupted by stroke.
It’s also just been announced that the scientific research organization of Denmark will run a multi-year study of resveratrol for diabetes. This announcement follows the news from December 2010 that our hometown Albert Einstein Medical Center has been awarded an NIH grant, also for a study of resveratrol and diabetes.
All in all, resveratrol seems to remain a very promising research topic!
You can find resveratrol in two forms at the NYBC. (Resveratrol Synergy adds some of the additional parts of the grape that are thought to have health benefits, and combines those with green tea extract, another food extract that researchers believe may have health benefits.)