The Los Angeles Times (3/8, Mohan, 692K) reports, "Scientists hoping to mimic the life-extending qualities produced by a chemical found in red wine and dark chocolate say they have solved one of the mysteries about how this compound works to combat the effects of obesity, diabetes, certain cancers and a host of other maladies." The research, "published in Friday's edition of the journal Science, could lay the foundation for a variety of drugs that act like concentrated amounts of resveratrol, the compound that has inspired a $30-million-a-year supplement business."
Bloomberg News (3/8, Flinn) reports that the "researchers repeated a 10-year old study using a new method to validate earlier findings that resveratrol turns on a gene that recharges mitochondria, tiny structures that produce fuel for cells. By revving up mitochondria, the agent may protect against aging-related diseases, said David Sinclair, a Harvard Medical School genetics professor and the study's senior author." His "earlier research was disputed in studies in 2009 and 2010 saying that resveratrol only activated the gene, a sirtuin called SIRT1, in experiments that used a synthetic fluorescent chemical to track activity."
Still, the Boston Globe (3/8, Johnson, 250K) reports, researchers not involved in the study "said the new paper provided a plausible and more nuanced explanation for how resveratrol works, but will do little to clarify the bigger questions in the murky field. The role of...SIRT1 in aging, 'is still as clear as mud,' said Brian Kennedy, president of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, a nonprofit research center in Novato, Calif."