Longevity studies which targeted resveratrol, a trace component in red wine, have found that the substance does not appear to cause longevity as initially claimed.
A trans-atlantic point of debate surrounds longevity with both sides looking towards a definitive argument that can find a drug target for longevity. Even recently, a study in August backed resveratrol saying "the weight of evidence is shifting" towards the substance being considered as an anti-aging chemical.
A glass of wine a day has been for a long time associated with health benefits - however a new study says that it may not necessarily be resveratrol that is doing it.
Originally established 2001, a study claiming links between resveratrol-activated Sirtuin protein and prolonged life in fruit fries. This led to Sirtuin being linked to many long-life studies.
However there were flaws - that Sirtuin was the activated chemical causing fruit flies to live long was wrong according to new studies. This is because the original study failed to control the genetic 'purity' of its species leading to several differences between the prolonged life flies and controls, that were not due to Sirtuin.
The experiment repeated and published in Nature that the same experiments produced again does not produce the same results because it is another gene mutant, not Sirtuin that is doing it.
This gene is not as yet understood, however, Sirtuin related to long life does not appear to hold up anymore.
"The biology of aging is a young field with emerging pitfalls," said Dr. Gems and Dr. Partridge of University College London (UCL) who claim no links to the drug manufacturers but say they are after other possible targets within cells that could lead to longer lifespans.
"With reluctance," Gems told Nature, he studied the C.elegans worm that was expressing Sirtuin and mated it - when the new young nematode worms did not live longer than normal despite being overloaded with Sirtuin, he began to get suspicious and recorded his findings.
Gems findings - expanded with several others are all explained in a new paper published in Nature yesterday.
The field is set to emerge with claims and counter-claims after it was published, Gems and Partridge advocate higher standards when it comes to anti-aging claims based on genetic studies:
"If you just walk by, a lot of other people will get blown up, nd that's what happened. A lot of other people have wasted a lot of time." said Gems.
"We absolutely do not agree that there is a serious question about whether sir2 (Sirtuin) extends life span in worms," said MIT's Dr Leonard Guarente, author of the study on Sirtuin and prolonged life.
"I think the whole thing is a tempest in a teapot," he said, though admitting newer experiments are more effectively controlled than his was in 2001.
The resulting debate may not improve Resveratrol's claims as an anti-aging chemical, but it may cause some doubt amongst those who want to use Red Wine in anti-aging claims.
Published by Medicaldaily.com