MONDAY, July 7 (HealthDay News) -- In mice, adding resveratrol to the diet leads to gene expression patterns similar to those seen in dietary restriction, as well as decreased inflammation and increased aortic elasticity, but not increased longevity when begun at midlife, according to research published in the Aug. 6 issue of Cell Metabolism.
Kevin J. Pearson, Ph.D., of the National Institutes of Health in Baltimore, and colleagues analyzed data from year-old mice that were put on a standard control diet or dietary restriction through every-other-day feeding, with or without resveratrol. Dietary restriction has been shown to slow functional decline and delay age-related diseases, but given objections to such a diet, researchers are seeking dietary restriction mimetics to provide some of these benefits.
The investigators found that resveratrol induced changes in transcriptional profiles of metabolic tissues resembling those induced by dietary restriction. It also improved the structure and strength of animals' femurs, tested after their natural deaths, and attenuated cataract formation compared to ad libitum-fed mice. However, mice on a standard diet didn't live longer when resveratrol was started at 12 months of age, the researchers report.
"In conclusion, long-term resveratrol treatment of mice can mimic transcriptional changes induced by dietary restriction and allow them to live healthier, more vigorous lives. In addition to improving insulin sensitivity and increasing survival in high-calorie mice, we show that resveratrol improves cardiovascular function, bone density and motor coordination, and delays cataracts, even in non-obese rodents. Together, these findings confirm the feasibility of finding an orally available dietary restriction mimetic," the authors write.
Two of the study co-authors disclosed financial relationships with companies related to the pharmaceutical industry.