A New Anti-Aging Drug in The Works
Scientists appear to have proven that resveratrol, a compound in red wine, activates a protein that promotes health and battles aging.
The researchers from Harvard Medical School (HMS) said that a class of drugs currently in development would act in a similar but stronger fashion.
The protein, known as SIRT1, is part of a larger group, sirtuins, that are believed to protect against aging. Increasing evidence shows that resveratrol activates SIRT1. Resveratrol is found in red wine, the skin of grapes, peanuts and berries.
The study, published in the journal Science, found that mice on resveratrol have twice the endurance and are relatively immune from effects of obesity and aging.
Researchers said the action of resveratrol was unprecedented. “In the history of pharmaceuticals, there has never been a drug that binds to a protein…in the way that resveratrol activates SIRT1,” said David Sinclair, Harvard Medical School professor of genetics and senior author on the paper, said in a statement. “Almost all drugs either slow or block [it].”
Sirtris Pharmaceuticals, founded by Sinclair and his colleagues, currently has several drugs in development that would act in the same way as resveratrol. The company is part of the pharmaceutical corporation GlaxoSmithKline.