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How the world got lost on
the road to an anti-aging pill
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September 5, 2014: by Bill Sardi
The editor of the journal Pharmacological Research is calling it the “resveratrol fiasco.” [Pharmacological Research Aug 30, 2014] Researchers in Hong Kong are calling resveratrol “a hopeless illusion.” [Pharmacological Research Aug 22, 2013]
Decrying the lack of human research studies, claiming the promised hope of resveratrol has been hiding behind “non-human research as a cover” for back-door marketing of resveratrol dietary supplements, these investigators say resveratrol, the much heralded red wine molecule that is believed to be partly responsible for the French Paradox, “may indeed turn out to be nothing more than a sleight of hand.”
September 4, 2014: by Bill Sardi
I’ve written twice at ResveratrolNews.com about the idea of taking telomere-lengthening pills in hopes of achieving biological immortality, or at least living far longer. Telomeres are caps at the end of bundles of chromosomes. Telomeres shorten with advancing age which leads to instability of the entire genome (library of genes).
My first report in 2010 presented some pros and cons but summarily concluded that telomere-lengthening pills were not ready for prime time. [ResveratrolNews.com Oct 28, 2010]
Questions about taking telomere-lengthening pills continue to be received by this journalist. Regardless of the unconvincing science, telomere modification continues to fascinate longevity seekers.
September 2, 2014: by Bill Sardi
Arsenic is ubiquitous in groundwater supplies throughout the U.S. The Environmental Protection Agency permits 10 micrograms of arsenic per liter of drinking water. [US Geological Survey] The health risks posed by small amounts of arsenic have been described. [YouTube.com] ancer from pooling of arsenic in the bladder has been reported. [Journal Epidemiology Community Health 2006] The Environmental Protection Agency habitually over-warns about even the lowest exposure to potentially toxic molecules like arsenic. Arsenic exposure needs to be reviewed in light of experimental evidence showing low-dose arsenic may activate internal antioxidant defenses in the human body (what is called hormesis). [Human Experimental Toxicology Nov 2007] However, health risks associated with accumulated lifetime exposure are unknown. In regard to arsenic antidotes, resveratrol has recently undergone testing in an animal model of arsenic poisoning and was found to reverse liver damage and elevate antioxidant defenses such as glutathione. [Biomedical Research International July 2, 2014]
August 29, 2014: by Bill Sardi
There is a clear dichotomy in the treatment of patients who battle the loss of their vision due to wet (neovascular) macular degeneration while simultaneously attempting to mend scarred muscle tissue after a heart attack.
This may be a greater problem than realized as ophthalmologists who commonly instill anti-growth factor drugs (anti vascular endothelial growth factor or anti-VEGF drugs) directly into the eye to induce abnormal blood vessels to recede may be completely unaware how many of their retinal degeneration patients have had a heart attack that requires the formation of new blood vessels to heal scarred muscle tissue.
August 28, 2014: by Bill Sardi
Does resveratrol really activate SIRT1 – the “longevity” gene?
Resveratrol has been shown to activate the SIRT1 gene in the laboratory. However, it is not yet clear if oral supplementation with resveratrol has the same effect. [ConsumerLab.com posted August 27, 2014]
August 26, 2014: by Bill Sardi
Despite the fact a Harvard researcher has recently been quoted to say the secret to halting the aging process is much closer than we think and that “there is no limit on the human lifespan,” [Yahoo News Aug 19, 2014], it is difficult if not impossible to conclusively prove so-called anti-aging pills will produce superlongevity because a 100-year study would be required.
August 21, 2014: by Bill Sardi
Sakari Momoi, age 111, is being honored by the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest man on earth. [The Japan News Aug 21, 2014] His recent photographs don’t serve as motivation for younger adults to surpass his age. The primary reason: he looks old, very old. What youth-seekers really want, to their very last day, is thick hair, smooth skin and “Viagra baby.” They don’t want to look as parched as Sakari Momoi.
August 3, 2014: by Bill Sardi
People who have long-lived parents and grandparents often believe they will live exceptionally long too due to inherited longevity. And now there is evidence for that, but not from the classic inheritability we were likely taught in college biology class.
This report deals with two biological terms: genotypes and phenotypes. The genotype is the genetic makeup of an individual and is usually used to explain a particular trait. When that particular trait is expressed or materializes, then that is known as the phenotype.
What we inherit are two sets of genetic information. The first are the better-known inherited traits that emanate from sequences of what are called nucleotides (adenine, guanine, cytosine, thymine amino acids) on the DNA ladder. An example of a phenotype is hair color or blood type.
July 28, 2014: by Bill Sardi
An immense federal project that involved 440 scientists from 32 laboratories from around the world, a project known as ENCODE, concluded that 80% of the library of human genes (known as the human genome) is biologically functional. The results of ENCODE were reported in September of 2012 and strong criticism of its “extremely loose definition of ‘biologically functional’ soon followed.” [Proceedings National Academy Sciences April 2, 2013; Time Magazine Sept 6, 2012]
ENCODE stunned the world of human genetics at that time as it was believed that only a small fraction (~3%) of genes actually produce proteins.
Yet in another a scientific reversal, just 22-months later scientists at Oxford University report only 8.2% of our DNA is biologically active. Oxford researchers say the rest of the genome is leftover evolutionary material that has undergone mutational losses or gains in the DNA code. [Science Daily July 24, 2014; PLoS Genetics July 24, 2014]
July 19, 2014: by Bill Sardi
Researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, writing in a recent edition of The New England Journal of Medicine, claim a reason why supplemental antioxidants have failed to consistently reduce the risk for cancer is that they don’t target the precise location where 90% of oxidation takes place – in cellular power plants called mitochondria. [New England Journal Medicine July 10, 2014; Medscape July 11, 2014]
These researchers are calling for the development of “synthetic” strategies to target the mitochondria and negate the protective effect dietary antioxidants provide cancer cells, ignoring the fact there are many natural antioxidant molecules that already target mitochondria and promote cancer cell death.