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  • “Age Busters” Break Into Nursing Homes, Use Fire Extinguishers To Spray Resveratrol To Douse Old Age. Some Residents Cease Taking Their Numbing Medicines And Escape Back To Uninstitutionalized Living

    August 12, 2016: by Bill Sardi

    Remember the movie “Ghostbusters” where actors Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray captured ghosts with magic wands?  Well that is the imagined scenario where “Age Busters” burst into nursing homes with fire extinguishers to spray resveratrol everywhere, resulting in many residents breaking free and escaping their drug-induced stupors to live the rest of their lives uninstitutionalized.

    Such a “prison break” can only be imagined in the human experience.  But in the animal lab, that very thing just happened.  [British Journal Nutrition Aug 2016; Nutraingredients Aug 9, 2016]

    Resveratrol, that much maligned and often dismissed red wine molecule, just invigorated the oldest, frailest lab rats that exercised and had resveratrol added to their diet.

    The effects were most demonstrable in the very old with negligible in younger animals.

    Resveratrol tripled the amount of mitochondria in living cells, a process called biogenesis.  Mitochondria are the atomic power plants inside living cells that provide energy in the form of adeno triphosphate (ATP). Only about 4% of mitochondria are active in older adults in their 80s.

    These positive effects with resveratrol were achieved without lifelong use.  The beneficial effects were achieved by indirect activation of internal antioxidant enzymes (glutathione, catalase, superoxide dismutase).

    While this positive study employed a relatively large dose of resveratrol, the combination of resveratrol plus quercetin is believed to exert beneficial effects at lower doses as demonstrated in humans.  [Applied Physiology Nutritional Metabolism 2013]

    The take home lessons from this animal study are:

    1. You are never too old to benefit from resveratrol.
    2. The physical benefits of resveratrol are not apparent in young age but are demonstrably achieved in combination with modest exercise in the very oldest and frail animals.
    3. Combination with other red wine molecules (quercetin) potentiates resveratrol and reduces the need for mega-doses.
    4. Previously published negative or null studies where exercise plus resveratrol failed to result in improved physical and mental performance can be explained by the selection of youthful subjects and/or ineffective doses or overdoses.

    This writer vividly recalls an 88-year old woman who was bedridden due to pain with crushing vertebrae in her spine from osteoporosis who only navigated a few feet from her bedside to make it to the bathroom every day.  Her son spiked her liquid multivitamin with resveratrol (Longevinex®) without her knowledge.  She soon began to walk around the house, wash the dishes, even took a vacation by car from California to Montana.

    However her vision appeared to deteriorate.  Her son, an optometrist by training, took an old pair of eyeglasses with a thinner prescription that she had used years ago out of a drawer and placed them on over her ears.  She could see well enough to begin reading books again, something she hadn’t done in a long time.  She ordered books delivered by the local library for shut-ins with visual handicaps.

    Yes, it can happen, not just to laboratory mice, but for your loved ones, dare you try.

    British Journal Nutrition  2016 Aug 4:1-10.

    Resveratrol primes the effects of physical activity in old mice.


    Decrease in muscle mass and performance with ageing is one of the main factors of frailty in the elderly. Maintenance of muscle performance by involving in physical activities is essential to increase independence and quality of life among elderly. The use of natural compounds with ergogenic activity in old people would increase the effect of moderate exercises in the maintenance of physiological muscle capacity. Resveratrol (RSV), a polyphenol found in walnuts, berries and grapes, shows this ergogenic activity. By using young, mature and old mice as models, we have found that RSV improves muscle performance in mature and old animals but not in young animals. Without showing significant effect by itself, RSV primed the effect of exercise by increasing endurance, coordination and strength in old animals. This effect was accompanied by a higher protection against oxidative damage and an increase in mitochondrial mass. RSV increased catalase and superoxide dismutase protein levels in muscle and primed exercise to reverse the decrease in their activities during ageing. Furthermore, RSV increased the level of mitochondrial mass markers such as cytochrome C, mitochondrial transcription factor A and nuclear respiratory factor-1 in muscle in exercised animals. Our results indicate that RSV can be considered an ergogenic compound that helps maintain muscle performance during ageing and subsequently reduces frailty and increases muscle performance in old individuals practising moderate exercise. PMID: 27488121 DOI: 10.1017/S0007114516002920


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