SRT1720 is a sirt1 activator and the new hope for a calorie restriction mimicker, which may lead to an increase in human lifespan.
Resveratrol (which I have written about several times, here, here and here) is also a sirt1 activator, which is found (in very small quantity) in red wine, is also a sirt1 activator and has been tested multiple times to see what it can do for animal’s health and survival (see below). The interesting thing about SRT1720 is that it works at a 1,000 times lower dose than resveratrol.
In mice fed a high fat diet (very similar to the resveratrol study) SRT1720 spared the animals from gaining as much weight (even though they ate the same amount) and becoming insulin resistant. Additionally, the animals fed SRT1720 had greater running endurance (no great surprise since they were not overweight). Overall, the authors providing supporting data for the mechanism behind these affects is due to increased fatty acid oxidation (which should help endurance beyond just being a lighter weight) (the same thing exercise does).
Hmmm this sounds just like the recent paper I did on human exercise. Exercise in humans leads them to become less energy efficient at rest – as there was a decoupling of food intake and energy output (occurs in the mitochondria) and hence the extra energy is burnt off as heat. That is why you can eat more if you are on an exercise program and not gain weight (compared to your twin that is not exercising). This goes beyond just the extra calories you are burning while actually exercising. Your entire muscle metabolism becomes less efficient and you need more food to get the same amount of ATP. And while this sounds bad – there are obvious benefits once your muscles have to start working.
Back to RST1720 you must remember the results reported are for mice on a high fat diet. Resveratrol when tested on mice on a high fat diet improved health and survival (meaning the mice on this diet lived longer). When resveratrol was tested for its effect on lifespan on mice fed a ‘normal’ diet there was no effect (but the diet was not started until 12 months of age – it would be interesting to see if it would work when started earlier).
Take home message:
SRT1720 holds promise as it did prevent excessive weight gain and improved endurance, and appears to be an advance over resveratrol as it is 1,000 times more potent (hence I am guessing would be more economically viable). And combined with previous resveratrol studies is likely to increase the lifespan of animals on a high fat diet. The big question is will SRT1720 extend the lifespan of animals on a ‘normal diet’? This is the holy grail of calorie restriction mimickers. Time will tell.