A new study by the National Institutes of Health offers additional evidence that the chemical resveratrol, found in grape skins and red wine, may protect against type-2 diabetes, heart disease and other chronic illnesses. Lab mice given doses of resveratrol experienced longer, healthier lives than a control group. And, in a potentially important discovery, the team found intriguing new evidence of how resveratrol may improve health, suggesting that it inhibits enzymes that degrade and break down cells.
While there has been intensive study of resveratrol in recent years, there has also been a recent backlash as some question whether there has been too much hype over previous findings. But the latest study, published in the prominent medical journal, Cell, comes from a strong authority in the field, the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Led by Dr. Jay Chung, an obesity and aging researcher at the NIH Genetics and Development Biology Center, the NIH team was trying to understand the mechanism by which resveratrol impacts cells.
On the positive side, the researchers found that resveratrol blocks the action of a muscle enzyme called phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4), which causes cell degradation. Resveratrol's ability to inhibit PDE4 is likely responsible for the anti-inflammatory observations in the mice, the study notes. A PDE4 inhibitor drug based on resveratrol could have the potential to fight several illnesses, though that is very hypothetical at this stage.
Resveratrol also appears to activate sirtuins, a family of proteins believed to regulate genetic activity, repair DNA and extend lifespan, though scientists are not sure of sirtuins' impact yet.
No wonder Italians age so well