Resveratrol (3,5,4’-trihydroxy-trans-stilbene) is a natural polyphenol containing two phenyl rings connected by an ethylene bridge. It is abundantly found in grape skin and seeds as well as berries. This biologically active compound is well-known for its antioxidant, anticarcinogenic, antitumor, and estrogenic/ antiestrogenic activity. It has several other properties which are considered substantial in aging research.
Resveratrol gained much attention when its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties were linked to the reduced incidence of cardiovascular diseases in French despite their high-fat diet. They were obtaining their share of resveratrol from red wine which reduced the risk of CVD in them. These effects of resveratrol have been further investigated to be associated with the alleviation of age-related diseases.
For example, resveratrol is effective against tumors in that it suppresses cancer cell growth. It has also been observed to reduce the capacity of cancer cells to metastasize. This property of resveratrol has been confirmed in leukemia, breast cancer as well as liver and gastric cancer. It has been successful in asserting its anticancer effects in multiple animal models. Another example would be a decrease in age-related cognitive decline where it has been shown to reduce neuroinflammation and prevent AD-like pathologies.
Moreover, it has been substantial in reducing the expression of inflammatory marker genes. When compared to calory restricted state, resveratrol increases the expression of FOXO3a which is considered to be a pro-longevity protein-producing gene. The increased inhibition of senescence through telomerase activity has also been observed in the case of resveratrol.
The antiaging property of resveratrol is associated mainly with the activation of SIRT1, and activation of AMPK at higher doses. It also improves insulin sensitivity. All of these mechanistic effects lead to the regulation of cellular stress and activation of longevity genes. These phenomena are interlinked with reducing the onset of age-related diseases such as T2D, cancer, CVD, AD, and others.
Due to these properties resveratrol is considered a promising calory restriction mimetic and is under tremendous importance among scientists. What other ways it creates a CR-like state is it regulates mitochondrial function and antioxidant enzyme function which leads to maintaining the homeostasis and reduction in inflammation immune response inside the body. This results in the protection of the function of complex biomolecules and healthy cellular aging.
However, resveratrol has shown minimal effects in aged mice. This questions its use as a perfect CR mimetic. Another downside of resveratrol is that it can exhibit harmful side effects on cells like any other drug in higher doses. But we can clearly see that the antiaging properties of resveratrol outnumber its limitations. That is why resveratrol still remains of great potential as an antiaging drug or a calory restriction mimetic.