Last night the 60 minutes TV show had a segment on the latest longevity research. One leading scientist in the field Richard Weindruch reported on the latest results from the National Institute of Health on primate research examining dietary restriction and said that 50% of the normally fed animals are now dead, and only around 25% of the calorie restricted animals have deceased. Far as I know these results have not been published yet. If you watch the video you can see the difference between the normally fed animals and the calorie restricted ones (here).
But the main thrust of the piece was on the sirtris company (recently bought by GlaxoSmithKline for $ 700+ million) and their various resverartol-like drugs. Resveratrol, or similar drugs, were discovered to mimic calorie restriction (by increasing sirt). Resveratrol is found naturally in things like red wine but you would have to drink over 1,000 bottles a day to reach a therapeutic level. At least in high fat fed mice resveratrol improves health and extends life span. However, the real question is will it also do the same for normally fed animals and humans (in reality according to one study resveratrol does not improve life span in normally fed mice). Another argument is since more than 50% of North Americans overeat that resveratrol-like compounds already has a HUGE market. Resveratrol-like compounds are already in clinical trials for diabetes and soon will be test on cancer patients.
For the complete TV segment click here.