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(Health) Resveratrol Prolongs Life in Fish

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 7:37 am    Post subject: (Health) Resveratrol Prolongs Life in Fish Reply with quote

Source: Cell Press

Posted: February 7, 2006

Natural Compound Prolongs Lifespan And Delays Onset
Of Aging-related Traits In A Short-lived Vertebrate

By studying a particularly short-lived fish species, researchers have been
able to show that a natural compound previously shown to extend
lifespan in non-vertebrate organisms can also do so in at least one
vertebrate species. The findings, reported by Alessandro Cellerino of the
Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa, and colleagues, support the potential
utility of the compound in human aging research.

Resveratrol is an organic compound naturally present in grapes--and
particularly enriched in red wine--and was previously shown to prolong
lifespan in non-vertebrate model organisms such as yeast, the worm C.
elegans, and the fruit fly Drosophila. However, until now, life-long
pharmacological trials were performed in the worm or fly model
organisms because of their very small size, very short natural lifespan,
and affordable cultivation costs. Laboratory mice, on the other hand, live
more than two years and are relatively expensive to maintain, making
large-scale, life-long pharmacological trials in mice unaffordable.

Recently, a small fish species with a captive lifespan of only three months
was described by Cellerino and colleagues. In the new work, the
researchers used this short-lived fish to test the effects of resveratrol on
aging-related physiological decay. The researchers added resveratrol to
daily fish food and found that this treatment increased longevity and also
retarded the onset of aging-related decays in memory and muscular

Resveratrol appears to be the first molecule to consistently cause life
extension across very different animal groups such as worms, insects,
and fish, and it could become the starting molecule for the design drugs
for the prevention of human aging-related diseases.

The researchers include Dario R. Valenzano of Scuola Normale Superiore
in Pisa, Italy; Alessandro Cellerino of Scuola Normale Superiore and
Istituto di Neuroscienze del CNR in Pisa Italy; Eva Terzibasi and Tyrone
Genade of Istituto di Neuroscienze del CNR in Pisa Italy; Antonino
Cattaneo of European Brain Research Institute and Lay Line Genomics
S.p.A. in Rome, Italy; Luciano Domenici of Istituto di Neuroscienze del
CNR in Pisa, Italy and Universita dell'Aquila in L'Aquila, Italy. This work
was financed by Lay Line Genomics S.p.A., which holds the rights for
commercial exploitation of the model.

Valenzano et al.: "Resveratrol Prolongs Lifespan and Retards the Onset of
Age-Related Markers in a Short-Lived Vertebrate." Publishing in Current
Biology 16, 296-300, February 7, 2006. DOI 10.1016/j.cub.2005.12.038.


Questions to explore further this topic:

What is resveratrol?

Resveratrol: A slideshow presentation

What are some of the benefits associated with resveratrol?

What are phytochemicals?

What plants have phytochemicals?

List of phytochemicals







Ellegic Acid








Phytic Acid





Ursolic Acid


Last edited by adedios on Sat Jan 27, 2007 4:51 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2006 8:14 am    Post subject: L'Chaim: Wine compound lengthens mouse lives Reply with quote

L'Chaim: Wine compound lengthens mouse lives
4 November 2006
Christen Brownlee

A chemical famous as a constituent of red wine appears to increase the life spans and boost the well-being of mice that haven't followed the healthiest of lifestyles, according to new research. The finding marks the first time that the compound, known as resveratrol, has shown life-lengthening benefits in a mammal.

In 2003, David Sinclair of Harvard Medical School in Boston and his colleagues reported that yeast dosed with resveratrol lived 60 percent longer than yeast that didn't receive the compound. Since then, his team and other researchers have discovered that this molecule can increase life span to varying extents in other organisms, including worms, flies, and fish.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2006 12:09 am    Post subject: Red Wine Compound Could Boost Endurance Reply with quote

Red Wine Compound Could Boost Endurance

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter
posted: 17 November 2006
11:18 am ET

(HealthDay News) -- Athletes and non-athletes alike may want to raise a glass to resveratrol, an ingredient in red wine that researchers say doubled the physical endurance of mice in a new study, while protecting them against diabetes and obesity.

Mice given high doses of the compound were able to run twice as far on treadmills than they normally could, French researchers reported.

Resveratrol might even help the rodents live longer, they say.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 7:26 am    Post subject: Most Comprehensive-Ever Survey of Flavonoids in U. S. Foods Reply with quote

Most Comprehensive-Ever Survey of Flavonoids in U. S. Foods
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
29 January 2007

Scientists studying the health benefits of flavonoids — those disease-preventing compounds in fruits, vegetables, wine, dark chocolate and other foods — finally have comprehensive data on flavonoid levels in foods consumers buy in the United States. The U. S. Department of Agriculture’s James M. Harnly and colleagues are unveiling new flavonoid data collected from the first systematic sampling of foods designed specifically to characterize flavonoids. The report appeared in the Jan. 10 issue of the ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a bi-weekly publication.

The report notes that interest in the flavonoid content of foods dates to the early 1980s. Since then, two databases had been compiled on levels of these compounds in common foods; the first based on a critical evaluation of flavonoid data in the literature and the second based on the analysis of proanthocyanidins found in selected foods. The reported data have been combined with the literature database.

For the latest report, researchers determined levels of 20 flavonoids in more than 60 fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts collected at two different times of the year from commercial markets in four regions of the United States. Researchers analyzed an average of five samples for each food. Complete results are included in the article. They found flavonoid levels that compared well with the literature database, but the catechins were generally lower in fruits and nuts than the figures reported in the proanthocyanidin database. The new study found a high variability in the flavonoid content of food samples.

"Flavonoid Content of U. S. Fruits, Vegetables, and Nuts"


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 7:18 am    Post subject: Studies force new view on biology of flavonoids Reply with quote

Oregon State University
5 March 2007

Studies force new view on biology of flavonoids

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Flavonoids, a group of compounds found in fruits and vegetables that had been thought to be nutritionally important for their antioxidant activity, actually have little or no value in that role, according to an analysis by scientists in the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University.

However, these same compounds may indeed benefit human health, but for reasons that are quite different – the body sees them as foreign compounds, researchers say, and through different mechanisms, they could play a role in preventing cancer or heart disease.

Based on this new view of how flavonoids work, a relatively modest intake of them – the amount you might find in a healthy diet with five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables – is sufficient. Large doses taken via dietary supplements might do no additional good; an apple a day may still be the best bet.

A research survey, and updated analysis of how flavonoids work and function in the human body, were recently published in Free Radical Biology and Medicine, a professional journal.

"What we now know is that flavonoids are highly metabolized, which alters their chemical structure and diminishes their ability to function as an antioxidant," said Balz Frei, professor and director of the Linus Pauling Institute. "The body sees them as foreign compounds and modifies them for rapid excretion in the urine and bile."

Flavonoids are polyphenolic compounds with some common characteristics that are widely found in fruits and vegetables and often give them their color – they make lemons yellow and certain apples red. They are also found in some other foods, such as coffee, tea, wine, beer and chocolate, and studies in recent years had indicated that they had strong antioxidant activity – and because of that, they might be important to biological function and health.

"If you measure the activity of flavonoids in a test tube, they are indeed strong antioxidants," Frei said. "Based on laboratory tests of their ability to scavenge free radicals, it appears they have 3-5 times more antioxidant capacity than vitamins C or E. But with flavonoids in particular, what goes on in a test tube is not what’s happening in the human body."

Research has now proven that flavonoids are poorly absorbed by the body, usually less than five percent, and most of what does get absorbed into the blood stream is rapidly metabolized in the intestines and liver and excreted from the body. By contrast, vitamin C is absorbed 100 percent by the body up to a certain level. And vitamin C accumulates in cells where it is 1,000 to 3,000 times more active as an antioxidant than flavonoids.

The large increase in total antioxidant capacity of blood observed after the consumption of flavonoid-rich foods is not caused by the flavonoids themselves, Frei said, but most likely is the result of increased uric acid levels.

But just because flavonoids have been found to be ineffectual as antioxidants in the human body does not mean they are without value, Frei said. They appear to strongly influence cell signaling pathways and gene expression, with relevance to both cancer and heart disease.

"We can now follow the activity of flavonoids in the body, and one thing that is clear is that the body sees them as foreign compounds and is trying to get rid of them," Frei said. "But this process of gearing up to get rid of unwanted compounds is inducing so-called Phase II enzymes that also help eliminate mutagens and carcinogens, and therefore may be of value in cancer prevention.

"Flavonoids could also induce mechanisms that help kill cancer cells and inhibit tumor invasion," Frei added.

It also appears that flavonoids increase the activation of existing nitric oxide synthase, which has the effect of keeping blood vessels healthy and relaxed, preventing inflammation, and lowering blood pressure – all key goals in prevention of heart disease.

Both of these protective mechanisms could be long-lasting compared to antioxidants, which are more readily used up during their free radical scavenging activity and require constant replenishment through diet, scientists say.

However, Frei said, it’s also true that such mechanisms require only relatively small amounts of flavonoids to trigger them – conceptually, it’s a little like a vaccine in which only a very small amount of an offending substance is required to trigger a much larger metabolic response. Because of this, there would be no benefit – and possibly some risk – to taking dietary supplements that might inject large amounts of substances the body essentially sees as undesirable foreign compounds.

Numerous studies in the United States and Europe have documented a relationship between adequate dietary intake of flavonoid-rich foods, mostly fruits and vegetables, and protection against heart disease, cancer and neurodegenerative disease, Frei said.

Studies Force New View on Biology, Nutritional Action of Flavonoids

By David Stauth, 541-737-0787

The Linus Pauling Institute is a national leader in the study of such phytochemicals, or plant chemicals that may affect human health.

This research was supported by the American Heart Association and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, which is part of the National Institutes of Health.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 12:41 pm    Post subject: Northwestern chemists develop new method for synthesizing an Reply with quote

Northwestern University
4 April 2007

Northwestern chemists develop new method for synthesizing anti-cancer flavonoids

EVANSTON, Ill. -- Flavonoids. You’ve heard of them -- the good-for-your-health compounds found in plants that we enjoy in red wine, dark chocolate, green tea and citrus fruits. Mother Nature is an ace at making them, producing different ones by the thousands, but no chemist has figured out a good way to synthesize a special class of these chemicals in the laboratory. Until now.

Karl Scheidt, assistant professor of chemistry in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University, and his research team have synthesized 10 different flavanones, a type of flavonoid, using a new general method they developed that takes advantage of one simple catalyst.

The basic research gives chemists -- for the first time -- a method for making new molecules based on flavonoids, setting the stage for the development of new cancer therapeutics. The team’s findings will be reported today in the April 4 issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS).

Flavonoids, a broad family with more than 2,000 reported compounds, provides many different structures for chemists to investigate. In addition to those with anti-cancer activity, researchers could mimic flavonoids with beneficial properties such as anti-inflammatory, anti-viral or antibiotic.

The natural sources of the flavanones Scheidt chose to mimic? Milk thistle, soy, grapefruit and kosam, a root used in traditional Korean medicine, to name a few. All are known for their anti-cancer properties.

"I’m using nature as an inspiration for the development of new anti-tumor products," said Scheidt, who now will focus on using his method to develop molecules that will be effective against prostate cancer. "We have developed an enabling technology that opens up a new opportunity to make these flavanone compounds from scratch and to design them to do many things, including fight cancer. A better understanding of the flavanones’ modes of action will help us improve their potential for use in medicine."

Scheidt says prostate cancer, second only to lung cancer as the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men, is an important target. He is collaborating with Raymond Bergan, M.D., a clinical oncologist at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine who often treats prostate cancer patients who have run out of therapeutic options. The two were brought together through their involvement with the University’s Center for Drug Discovery and Chemical Biology.

"Our goal is to keep cancer cells local, and some of the new molecules Karl already has made inhibit the motility of prostate cancer cells -- they stop the cells dead in their tracks," said Bergan, associate professor of hematology and oncology. "It is important for us to understand how these synthetic flavanones work because combination therapies are going to be the future in cancer treatment, much like we see with HIV. We need multiple compounds with different modes of action: one that stops cells from moving, another that kills cells where they are and a third that lets the body’s immune system do its work. Karl and his team have opened this door."

"We are really excited to work on flavonoids with anti-cancer properties so we can selectively modify these natural products," said Scheidt. "We want to get selectivity and specificity using chemistry. A naturally occurring flavonoid may not have all the characteristics you want -- it may not be potent enough, for example -- but with chemistry you can go in and modify that structure, imbuing the molecule with more desirable traits, such as binding more effectively to a protein of interest or being less toxic to normal cells."

The biosynthesis of flavanones is not well understood; for years organic chemists have struggled to find a good way to make them in the lab. The difficulty was figuring out how to produce a desired molecule in one-handed form, as is found in nature.

In attacking this age-old problem, Scheidt and his team discovered a simple chiral catalyst, which comes from quinine, that successfully controls the chemical outcome and produces a left-handed molecule or a right-handed molecule, not a one-to-one mixture of both.

"Flavanones are chiral molecules, which come in two ‘flavors,’" said Scheidt, who is left-handed and says he has been sensitive to handedness all his life. "We have a method to make just one ‘flavor,’ which no one has done before. Chiral molecules come in mirror images of the other, or two different ‘hands.’ Like your own hands, you can’t superimpose one hand on the other. In both people and molecules, a left hand and a right hand are very similar but are not the same. In synthesizing flavonoids, you want to make one handedness over the other."

Most therapeutics used today are chiral molecules that are synthesized to be either right- or left-handed. Controlling this is very important, said Scheidt, because a one-to-one mixture of right- and left-handedness in a drug could pose a serious problem, as was discovered with the medication thalidomide in the 1950s. The left handed version of thalidomide helped pregnant women combat morning sickness, but the right handed compound was a teratogen, causing children to be born with malformations, such as missing limbs. (Ibuprofen also is a one-to-one mixture with one hand as the active ingredient; the mirror image does nothing.)

After much trial and error in the lab, Scheidt and his colleagues hit upon a catalyst that, when added to other simple materials, produced a complex one-handed molecule like the flavonoids found in nature, with the core structure intact. (They tested 30 to 40 catalysts in different conditions over a period of six months before discovering the right one.) The catalyst is an organic molecule that sparks this impressive transformation through hydrogen bonding, which is used frequently in nature.

"Nature is the ultimate synthetic chemist and pharmacist," said Scheidt, who looks forward to synthesizing and evaluating new compounds with Bergan. "We may not be quite as sophisticated as nature, but our catalyst works beautifully. Small molecules can do really big things."

In addition to Scheidt, other authors of the JACS paper, titled "Catalytic Enantioselective Synthesis of Flavanones and Chromanones," are Margaret M. Biddle (lead author) and Michael Lin, both from Northwestern.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2007 8:23 am    Post subject: High doses of phytochemicals in teas and supplements could b Reply with quote

High doses of phytochemicals in teas and supplements could be unhealthy
30 April 2007
Chemical Research in Toxicology

Those phytochemicals — natural plant-based compounds that give fruits and vegetables a reputation as healthy food — could be unhealthy if consumed in high doses in dietary supplements, teas or other preparations, scientists in New Jersey have concluded after a review of studies on the topic.

In their article, scheduled for the current issue of ACS's Chemical Research in Toxicology, a monthly journal, Chung S. Yang and colleagues analyze available data on the toxic potential of polyphenols. That group of dietary phytochemicals includes flavonoids, whose suggested beneficial effects in fruits and vegetables include prevention of heart disease and cancer. The data was from studies done in humans and laboratory animals.

The report cites specific examples of toxic effects, including reports of liver, kidney, and intestinal toxicity related to consumption of high doses of green tea-based dietary supplements. The risk of such toxicity may be greater in individuals taking certain medications, or with genetic traits, that increase the bioavailability of phytochemicals, the researchers said. Citing the need for new studies on the topic, the report concludes: "Only when such data are compared to the evidence for beneficial health effects can a balanced judgment be made regarding the potential utility of these compounds for disease prevention and treatment."

ARTICLE #3 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE "Possible Controversy over Dietary Polyphenols: Benefits vs. Risks"

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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2007 10:06 am    Post subject: Fatty acid catabolism higher due to polyphenol intake Reply with quote

Fatty acid catabolism higher due to polyphenol intake
7 May 2007
Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research

Polyphenols, dietary substances from vegetables, fruits and green tea, bring about a change in the energy metabolism. Dutch researcher Vincent de Boer has discovered that polyphenols increase the fatty acid breakdown in rats and influence the glucose use in fat cells.

De Boer carried out his doctoral research at RIKILT - Institute of Food Safety in Wageningen. Much research into the health effects of polyphenols is carried out in vitro. However in the body, polyphenols are quickly and easily converted into polyphenol metabolites. This research was carried out with rats to study the mechanisms and effects of a polyphenol-rich diet. Relevant polyphenol metabolites that are found in humans were also examined.

Quercetin is a polyphenol that is highly abundant in the human diet, such as onions, apples and tea. The study revealed that quercetin metabolites mainly end up in the lungs of rats. Subsequently De Boer discovered that lung cells had a greater fatty acid catabolism if the animals constantly received quercetin in their feed.

Energy regulation
The energy-sensing protein SIRT1 is an important regulatory protein that can prolong the life span of model organisms such as yeast and fruit flies. In humans, SIRT1 is possibly involved in the regulation of energy use. The SIRT1 activity can be simulated by various polyphenols. De Boer discovered that polyphenols from green tea stimulated the activity of isolated SIRT1. The quercetin molecule also did this, but an important human quercetin metabolite had the opposite effect. Therefore in intestinal cells, quercetin had no effect on the activity of SIRT1. In experiments with fat cells, both quercetin and a quercetin metabolite were found to change the glucose use in the fat cell.

A change in the energy regulation might be an important process for the realisation of possible health effects of polyphenols in the food. This provides new starting points for further research into the molecular mechanisms of polyphenols. This will allow the health effects of polyphenols to be accurately described.

Polyphenols are substances of plant origin that occur in numerous fruits and vegetables. Due to their possible health effect, polyphenols are currently sold as nutritional supplements. Yet the scientific basis for the health claims for polyphenols is mostly weak. Results from in vitro studies are often directly translated into possible beneficial health effects in humans. De Boer’s research shows that in vivo research with polyphenol metabolites is necessary to study the effects of polyphenols.

Vincent de Boer recently received a Rubicon fellowship from NWO for his new research into the role of mitochondrial SIRT1 analogues in aging and energy metabolism. He will carry out his research at the Department of Pathology at the Harvard Medical School in Boston.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 10:27 am    Post subject: Phytochemical Collection Website Reply with quote

During the past century, medical science has added wondrous treatments and technologies to its disease-fighting arsenal. For all these innovations, however, the most amazing and effective tools for fighting disease may be growing in our own backyard gardens or nestled in the produce section of the local grocery store and fruit stand....

Visit the Phytochemical Collection Website:
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2007 2:22 pm    Post subject: AVOCADOS MAY HELP PREVENT ORAL CANCER, OSU STUDY SHOWS Reply with quote

Ohio State University
4 September 2007

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Nutrients taken from avocados are able to thwart oral cancer cells, killing some and preventing pre-cancerous cells from developing into actual cancers, according to researchers at Ohio State University.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2007 1:27 pm    Post subject: Microbes 'Trained' to Be Drug Factories Reply with quote

Microbes 'Trained' to Be Drug Factories
By Dave Mosher, LiveScience Staff Writer

posted: 26 September 2007 09:56 am ET

Bacteria play a deadly role in transmitting infectious disease, but some are now being engineered to become highly efficient factories for plant compounds that could keep us from getting sick and old.

The plant-derived chemicals, called flavonoids, have the potential to fight obesity, cancer, heart disease and even signs of aging. But if we can't produce them in large amounts to craft useful drugs, their promise is all hype.

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