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Resveratrol and its health benefits if concentrated

  1. Oct 8, 2007 #1
    Resveratrol, the part of red wine that is supposed to have huge benefits isn't processed as efficiently when drunk as it is when for example injected into tissue right? If huge amount of it were injected into eg. mice what would the benefits be? Could they maybe have a much longer lifespan? How huge have the dosages been that have been injected into mice?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 8, 2007 #2
    I read that Adding resveratrol to the diet of yeast, fruit flies, worms, and a species of fish increased their life spans up to 70%, 29%, 24%, & 50% respectively

    So what if an organism like a mouse got fed a TON of resveratrol? like maybe on a daily basis?
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2007
  4. Oct 9, 2007 #3

    jim mcnamara

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    Staff: Mentor

    No! First off - more does not equal better. People kill themselves regularly using medicines, insecticides, and so on with the idea "if one ml is good 20 ml must be great,
    so 500 ml is beyond wonderful".

    Currrently no toxic effects have been shown for resveratrol. However, there have been no real dose/response studies that I can find. Probably because nobody is entirely sure of what effects to look for. Some current thinking is to measure oxygen utilization (aerobic capacity), because of the idea of the mitochondrial theory of aging. ie., mitochondria "burn out" and become less effective, and so use less O2. There have been studies of this effect with mice:
    Lagouge M., et al. 2006
    Resveratrol improves mitochondrial function and protects against metabolic
    disease by activating SIRT1 and PGC-1 alpha. Cell. 2006 Dec 15;127(6):1109-22.

    Among other things, they measured O2 uptake into tissues (which indirectly measures how fast aerobic respiration goes on). It is called aerobic capacity. Once a cell is "firing on all cylinders" in terms of mitchondria, a maximum level of 02 uptake occurs. So, adding resveratrol beyond that limit is not going to help anything - in terms of this experiment, anyway. Or probably in terms of mouse longevity or whatever else you are interested in.

    Resveratrol is a stilbene that is produced by some plants usually in repsonse to a fungal assault. Don't go taking dozens of resveratrol pills at a time, using your 'more is better' logic. There are studies on humans with regard to other phtyo-antioxidants that demonstrate detrimental effects with increased levels of consumption.

    Unforturnately, resveratrol can be made in the lab, so the pill-people are pushing it big time. Ignore the hype.
  5. Oct 9, 2007 #4
    No I'm not interested in taking a ton of pills I wouldnt try it unless it was proven safe or unless it would really really provide the effects I was looking for

    I was just wondering couldn't the benefits of it be slightly dose-related? I mean what if you injected a TON of it into a mouse daily?
  6. Oct 9, 2007 #5

    jim mcnamara

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    Staff: Mentor

    Short answer: you'd kill the mouse.

    Here's why:

    Let's pretend that the guys doing research and proposing the cause of ageing are correct. Mitochondria kind of burn out and get sloppy leaving free oxygen radicals wandering about inside. Those radicals cause even more damage, resulting in poorer performance and more radicals. (I hope somebody active in this field doesn't read this Goldilocks and the Three Bears version...)

    Ok. Let's also pretend that a mouse weighs 100g. BIG mouse. He is 70% water. So what makes him up is 30g of living tissues. Let's assume mitochondria make up 1% of all of his cells. So he has 300 mg of mitochondrial "stuff" we need to fix..

    The mitochondria stuff needs repair. So we give him resveratrol. Let's assume he absorbs 10% of what we inject, 90% is excreted. Let's also assume that 300mg of mitochondria require 100mg of reservatrol on hand all the time to fix things. So, if we inject 1g to start and then inject more perioduically so it matches the rate of excretion, we should have a steady state supply of 100mg of resveratrol all the time.

    This is known in Biology as a limiting factor. Mr. Mouse cannot possibly use more than 100mg. More simply gets thrown away. Or it builds up somewhere else - somewhere like the liver. Or becomes toxic because we injected 10 mg and his kidneys cannot get rid of it fast enough, so his liver turns into a resveratrol reservoir instead of liver tissue. And he dies of "resveratrol cirrhosis".
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