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How the world got lost on
the road to an anti-aging pill
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September 28, 2011: by Bill Sardi
All roads to adult wellness and longevity lead to resveratrol, but the public isn’t buying it. An estimated 345 producers of dietary supplements have all raced to enter their version of resveratrol pills into the marketplace, but not much more than 100,000 American take these red wine pills. It is inexplicable why resveratrol continues to astound in the research laboratory but physicians are loathe to recommend it and consumers reticent to take this pill that may be the pill that ends all other pills.
The broad biological scope of the red wine molecule resveratrol is becoming legendary. Dr. Dipak Das at the University of Connecticut has documented the large number of genes that resveratrol controls. Resveratrol is beneficial for brain, heart, liver, blood circulation, immunity, cholesterol, blood clotting, etc, etc. It is difficult to address the breadth of resveratrol’s biological action without writing an encyclopedia.
With that having been said, the problem that resveratrol faces in gaining public and professional acceptance is that it does not fit into the system of medicine which is comprised of separate drugs to address each disease.
In the game to get rich by engineering man-made molecules into patentable drugs, we read of a report where researchers scanned 200,000 synthetically-made small molecules in search of a way to stop the growth of influenza viruses.
Such an approach could possibly work better than flu vaccines and overcome treatment resistance. It would also address all strains of viruses regardless of how fast they mutate into other strains. A class of synthetic molecules comprising just 71 molecules was found that induces an infection-fighting human protein called REDD1. Viruses like the flu normally inactivate REDD1. The concept of a small molecule that could entirely negate contagious strains of the flu is promising and could be developed and commercialized quickly, say researchers.
But there is so much that goes unsaid. The synthetic molecules that induce REDD1 were tested to see if they inhibit a gene target called mTOR (target of rapamycin, an antibiotic drug), which is the primary mechanism by which it block viruses. The researchers don’t mention that there is a natural molecule that went unscreened, which also inhibits mTOR. You guessed it — resveratrol. Resveratrol is a flu-fighter by virtue of its ability to inhibit replication of viruses. Quercetin, another red wine molecule, works in a similar fashion.
Resveratrol confounds at all levels. Drug companies want a man-made molecule that can be patented and become a billion-dollar seller. Consumers want a pill that says, on its label, that it will produce dark hair once again, that it will erase all wrinkles, give them sexual vigor and stamina and generally restore youthfulness, guaranteed. How many times this writer has heard from a former resveratrol pill user that they tried it and they didn’t feel any different.
At least if resveratrol would guarantee to eradicate hemorrhoids, or remove warts, or God knows what else, it would be more popular than it is today. Humanity is missing a big moment. Anything short of God coming out of the sky and prescribing resveratrol pills is unlikely to prompt the public to take red wine pills. Why not skip the pills, drink wine at three times the cost, why at least you will feel much happier. – ® 2011 Bill Sardi, ResveratrolNews.com