Nutritional Outlook

Nutritional Outlook, June 2018

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NUTRITIONAL OUTLOOK ■ 35 JUNE 2018 And the clinical trials on resveratrol in- creasingly target a variety of challenging "therapeutic indications," Majeed adds, with respiratory infections, obesity, osteoarthritis, hepatitis, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and cardio- vascular disorders among them. But for many resveratrol watchers, the compound's real potential lies in its rela- tionship to health—what Adamski calls "the most relevant area of activity." With the pop- ulation aging, Adamski says, "there remains an unprecedented need for safe dietary in- terventions to help support and preserve optimal cognitive function." Resveratrol, it appears, might help. Get the Backstory Precisely how resveratrol ef ects its antiag- ing benef ts "is yet to be understood clearly," Majeed concedes. One possibility: "Cognitive performance is a matter of f ow and preservation," Adamski explains, "and research shows resveratrol to be ef ective in supporting many key neuro- logical functions in an aging population." It may do so via its inf uence on mitochondria, the functioning of which diminishes with age and compromises our bodies' systems as a result. In research that Adamski calls "well received," resveratrol has been shown "to penetrate cells and help rejuvenate the mi- tochondria, thus supporting healthier aging." Majeed adds that some studies have shown that in certain species of yeast, round- worms, and fruit f ies, as well as in human cell cultures, resveratrol appears to turn on genes that make sirtuins, which are "ancient proteins found in virtually all species." T e genes controlling sirtuins' expression may confer a survival advantage upon organisms during especially stressful times. "Hence," Majeed says, "activating sirtuins is thought to give rise to a response that f ghts disease and prolongs life. However, extensive research is still needed to understand its mechanism better." The Best Is Yet to Come Resveratrol watchers seem willing to wait for it. "We're certainly optimistic about resvera- trol's future," Majeed says. "It's exciting as well as logical to unearth the exact mechanisms of action of such a life-extending molecule that is believed to modulate genes that are involved in longevity. T is would provide new possibilities for understanding the pro- cess of aging in humans." Once we do that, perhaps the industry can rejuvenate resveratrol's own life as a popu- lar dietary supplement. And we might start, Lifton says, by emphasizing the case that red wine isn't going to do the trick—"that we need supplementation if we want the asso- ciated health benef ts," he says. "Once this message is delivered ef ectively, then we can move on to which forms are superior. Con- sumers f rst have to know that they need a mousetrap before we can make the case for a better one!" In the meantime, take a moment to bring yourself up to date on some of the latest res- veratrol science. Go with the Flow Global dementia data for those aged 65 and older shows that the prevalence of demen- tia in women is 14% to 32% higher than it is in men, and that by age 80, women make up 63% of dementia suf erers—a trend that experts expect to intensify as the population ages. No wonder scientists are exploring how to bend that curve. As it happens, "a recently published study 1 reported that postmeno- pausal women consuming a resveratrol sup- plement had increased verbal memory and overall cognitive function scores compared to placebo," notes DSM's Welsh. In the randomized, placebo-controlled intervention trial, researchers had 80 post- menopausal women aged 45 to 85 take either 75 mg trans-resveratrol—the more bioavail- able of the compound's two isomers—twice daily, or a placebo, for 14 weeks, after which the researchers assessed the subjects' cogni- tive performance, cerebral blood f ow velocity and pulsatility index in the middle cerebral T e clinical trials on resveratrol increasingly target a variety of challenging "therapeutic indications," says Sabinsa's Shaheen Majeed.

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