Trend Watch



Thursday, November 15, 2007


Studies to date show resveratrol can prolong the life of Brewer's yeast by 60%, worms by 15% and fruit flies by 29%. Early last year (2006), Italian researchers discovered that resveratrol can extend the lifespan of turquoise killifish by 50%. Killifish lives only three months when in captivity. The results showed that adding resveratrol to the daily diet prolonged their expected lifespan. The fish study is interesting because fish, a vertebrate, is far above yeast, worms and fruit flies in the evolutionary tree. The study also showed resveratrol slowed the progression of fish muscular and memory problem as they grew very old. Another experiment using rodents was published in Natural Journal, November 2006. This study showed a 31% increase in lifespan.

So far, studies showing the ability of resveratrol to extend lifespan are confined to lower organisms, fish and rodents. Unfortunately such studies on human will take more than 100 years to complete. Since human shares many genes in common with even the simplest organisms such as bacteria and worms, it is likely that the studies in animals may have similar results in human.

Tips: comparisons with genomes of other organisms help identify what genes do because most of the proteins produced by human genes have counterparts in other organisms. Thus, humans share many genes in common with the even the simplest organisms, such as yeast, bacteria and worms. Over 99.9% of your DNA is identical to that of any other human on earth, and as much as 98% of your DNA is identical to the sequences found in the mouse genome.

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