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Resveratrol Improves Health, Survival of Obese Mice

Researchers find it counteracts many aging effects associated with a high-calorie diet

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Resveratrol, a compound found in wine, fruit and nuts, significantly improves the health and survival of obese middle-aged mice fed a high-calorie diet, according to the results of a study published online Nov. 1 in Nature.

David A. Sinclair, Ph.D., of Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues studied mice that were given three different diets for six months: a standard murine diet, a high-calorie diet and a high-calorie diet supplemented with resveratrol.

Compared to mice on the high-calorie diet alone, the researchers found that the resveratrol-treated mice were healthier, with increased insulin sensitivity, reduced insulin-like growth factor-1 levels, increased AMP-activated protein kinase and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator 1α activity, increased mitochondrial number and improved motor function. They also found that the resveratrol-treated mice lived longer. At 114 weeks, more than two-thirds of the resveratrol-treated mice were still alive compared to fewer than one-half of the mice on the high-calorie diet alone.

"These data show that improving general health in mammals using small molecules is an attainable goal, and point to new approaches for treating obesity-related disorders and diseases of aging," the authors conclude.

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