60 minutes TV coverage of longevity


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.

3 comments for “60 minutes TV coverage of longevity

  1. CC
    January 26, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    Interesting video! Did they intentionally pick an old old gentlemen to host the show?
    And the company’s message is,’Pay us money, eat this pill, and you can have all the steaks, burgers, chips, coke, whatever, you want and live longer and happier lives that others who don’t pay us’…?
    And the calorie restriction group seems like they’re starting a new religion…kind of creepy actually…..

  2. Ward
    January 27, 2009 at 9:12 am


    I agree with you – of course the company is trying to make money and they are going to use appropriate ‘feel good’ marketing. As for the calorie restriction group forming a new religion – I think maybe this is the way the producer decided to portray them – but I am sure they will try to spread what they believe in and think is good for people (yes, sounds like a religion – but then again so would yoga and running).

  3. CC
    January 27, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    Oh I see!! The show is trying to put calorie restriction in bad light, while stressing that it’s way more cool and hip to take the pill!