What Lab Mice Can Tell Us – Resveratrol.

Yikes, I’m soooo behind on these postings…

So in case you haven’t heard, red wine (or, more accurately, a compound in grapes called resveratrol) will help you live a longer, active life, especially if you’re fat. Here’s the article:

Compund in Red Wine Boosts Health of Obese Mice.

Here are a few things about the study that were not reported in the article:

1) The study didn’t end. It’s ongoing, so that indicates that Sinclair and his research team may be back with more juicy findings in few months.

2) The study also looked at how “active” the lab mice were (does anyone have a picture of an athletic mouse?). All groups were periodically given a test of endurance – they were tested by seeing how much time they could balance on a wire suspended between two stands. Time was used as the measure of “mouse fitness.” Interestingly, the obese mice given resveratrol performed comparably to the “active, slim” mouse group, and far exceeded the time to fatigue of their obese, non-resveratrol supplemented peers. Even more interestingly, as the mice aged, the obese group given resveratrol did better and better, eventually matching the active group’s performance. This particular finding is probably the most exciting of all because, honestly, what good is living longer if your quality of life is terrible?

3) If you don’t feel like running the numbers, resveratrol extended the lives of the obese mice by 30-40%.

4) The most important point: the amount of resveratrol that the obese mice got? Roughly the equivalent of 100 glasses of wine a day (!!!). Considering the slight possibility of alcohol toxicity, I don’t think the “resveratrol cure” is upon us just yet.

Editorial time:

Much is made of the effects of compounds that are tested in these types of lab mouse trials. Not to say that these studies are useless, but there’s quite a stretch in saying that “Nitrates are bad for you because they are carcinogens” from “Nitrates caused carcinogenic effects in lab mice when they were fed the amount of nitrate that would be found with a consumption of 15 pounds of bologna daily.” I mean, seriously, I don’t know anyone who likes bologna that much. What’s to be done? Read the studies yourself and come to your own educated conclusions (or get some weirdo like myself who likes to read studies and research and get them to tell you what the deal is).

5) Dr. Sinclair says that the dosage of resveratrol that the obese mice consumed could definitely be put into pill form and sold OTC. But he warned that the effects of taking such a large dose in humans was unknown, and that there was also another “MYSTERY X” compound they were looking at in the same study that may also have been responsible for the health benefits. So don’t hold your breath for resveratrol pills just yet.

Maybe I should start drinking again.

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