Sirtuins, resveratrol and human longevity

DNA double helixThere are some serious issues with the way resveratrol is being marketed.

1) A few years ago it was touted as a telomerase inhibitor and NOT to be taken with TA-65. Now there are claims that it is a telomerase activator and at least 1 study in vitro that suggests that this might be the case. However, the lab is a very distant realm from living human beings as I have often pointed out in support of TA-65. I personally sent four different brands of resveratrol to Bill Andrews at Sierra Sciences for testing before he affiliated with Isagenix and none of them tested positive for telomerase. Bill I think has tested other samples and found the same result. Thus, where the rubber meets the road, resveratrol has failed to activate telomerase. There are many reasons why this could be but one in particular is operator inexperience. This is why I went to Bill Andrews. No one on the planet has more experience with testing for telomerase activation.

2) In addition you may be aware of the 750 million dollar acquisition of Sirtris Pharmaceuticals by GSK. The “super resveratrol” Dr Sinclair produced for them was removed from phase 2 trials due to hepatotoxicity. Another thing that reportedly happened was an inability to reproduce prior results for resveratrol.

The scientific community believes that resveratrol has been seriously over-hyped by its marketers and I concur. It has pretty clearly been shown to work through adipokines and at best indirectly activates Sir 1, which has been proven to be a metabolic sensing gene and not a longevity gene, and that is at best.  Sir 6 shows some promise in humans but most of us in the field who are actually learned on the topic feel all the sittings are metabolic sensors and may exert some healthspan but not lifespan improvements, e.g. They are not true longevity genes in higher mammals and resveratrol is NOT a direct activator of any of them.

In my view, resveratrol is a good antioxidant that has merit, especially in the obese, diabetic and elderly. It is a mild mitochondrial poison, which decreases metabolism in the fashion calorie restriction does and doses should NOT exceed 300mg a day for this reason. At this point all my attempts to directly verify it has any direct actions as a telomerase activator or a Sirtuin stimulant has pointed in an opposite direction. The marketing machine, however, continues to present and represent it that way.

I would also add that I seriously doubt that resveratrol is the only natural compound that acts to improve metabolic sensing – it simply has had more money thrown at it because of its purported affiliation with Calorie Restriction (CR). CR has also been studied for 25 years now and in my opinion it has shown disappointing results in the longevity department unless you are a fruit fly, a round worm, or a very specific breed of mouse. The most common breed of mouse used in longevity experiments, known as “Black 6”, has not seen any life extension from CR.

The good news is the CR society is putting their money where their mouth is (no pun intended!) and at least planning on participating in studies that will verify or vilify what they are doing for markers of longevity. I hope they follow through with it because it may help answer the questions about CR and longevity where it really counts: you and me!

In the meantime, I would remind you that there is very strong evidence that increased telomerase expression is much more likely to extend life and repair many of the defects associated with aging than any other therapy, especially in mammals. I would also remind you that TA-65 was, is and has been the only telomerase activator that has been proven to work in mammalian studies. And that includes humans like you and me!


2 Responses to “Sirtuins, resveratrol and human longevity”

  1. 1 Judy June 9, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    Any chance for some before and after pictures of people?
    Would love to see what visible changes occur from taking TA65.

  2. 2 Rik June 11, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    What about cycloastragenol as a telemorase activator?

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