Resveratrol, one of the great hopes to increase lifespan, in this new paper was found to have no effect on lifespan. In previous posts I have reported on how while resveratrol did increase lifespan on mice on a high fat diet; however it didn’t in normal chow fed mice.
from one of my previous posts:
“Resveratrol is a natural compound found in several plants, with some of the highest levels in red wine and peanuts. Resveratrol is considered a calorie restriction (CR) mimetic and the hope is like CR that this compound will extend lifespan.”
This current paper was a massive effort in which all the experiments where ran simultaneously in three different sites. Another interesting thing about this new paper is they also tested out another couple of compounds. All animals did not receive the tested drug at 9 months of age (early middle age for a mouse), which makes in a good clinically relevant experiment. A form of statin, simvastatin, also did not have any effect on lifespan. Statins are widely prescribed and used drug that lowers cholesterol and reported to reduce death from heart disease (but take a read of this post).
Now with two negative results with compounds that many would hypothesize to increase lifespan one could think maybe there was a problem with the experimental design. But the group also tested rapamycin, an mTOR inhibitor. And this compound, which is also thought to be a CR mimetic, did increase median lifespan (10% in males, 18% in females). Rapamycin did not increase maximum survival.
This experiment was a very large study to test if some the promising compounds out there would stand up to robust testing. When started at early middle age (roughly equivalent to 30-40 years old in a human) resveratrol and simvastatin did not improve any aspect of lifespan, while rapamycin improved the median lifespan.
I am sure we will hear more about these compounds from other researchers.