there’s been a lot of research showing that significant calorie restriction dramatically extends an organism’s lifespan. it’s been played out in everything from fruit flies to monkeys, so it seems to be a biologic universal truth.
trick is, if you remove an enzyme called Sir2, it negates that whole life-extension effect. finding drugs that act specifically on that enzyme should therefore give you the bonus without the hell of a lifetime of tiny portions of crappy food (i wouldn’t really want to live 120 years on a no-cheese/dessert/etc diet!).
the drug is called “resveratrol”. works nicely in flies & worms so far, but for more human-applicable data, you have to move up the phylogenetic tree a bit.
according to this article today, it’s working out rather well in mice. **fat** mice, no less.
“After six months, resveratrol essentially prevented most of the negative effects of the high-calorie diet in mice… benefits observed in this latest study included increased insulin sensitivity, decreased glucose levels and healthier heart and liver tissues…”
but you know what really kicks ass? resveratrol is a compound naturally occurring in red wine.
so, that decent bottle of shiraz i had last night? not just for entertainment value. no siree, i’m keeping my **liver** healthy! better living through chemistry, indeed.
ps: according to the blurb about it on yahoo, they were using “ultrahigh” doses of the compound. not only is drinking red wine good, drinking assloads of red wine is a good idea, scientifically speaking.