New Resveratrol Mechanisms Found
It was previously thought that resveratrol’s mechanism of action directly activated the gene sequencing molecule called surtuin-1, which regulated cellular aging. While the new research does illustrate that surtuin-1 is activated by resveratrol, the activation takes place indirectly by inhibiting a category of enzymes called cAMP-degrading phosphodiesterases, or PDEs.
The reason for the significance of the discovery is that blocking these enzymes increases levels of available cAMP. High cAMP levels allow clear signalling responses to blood glucose levels, while activating an enzyme called AMPK. This pathway increases the cells’ energy productivity, utilizes glucose better, and helps strengthens cells.
Resveratrol’s mechanisms illustrate why it can increase weight loss and balance blood sugar levels.
Jay Chung, MD, PhD, lead researcher in the study, confirmed the significance for these new findings. “Resveratrol has the potential as a therapy for diverse diseases such as type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and heart disease.”
Resveratrol is most famously known to be come from wine, but the grape’s seeds and skins actually contain more resveratrol than the grape’s juice. This makes fresh grapes, raisins and grapeseed extract a more potent in terms of resveratrol content. Besides grapes, many red berries also contain resveratrol. The Japanese knotweed herb maintains one of the highest resveratrol contents known, and most supplements are derived from knotweed extract.
Written by Case Adams, PhD
Chung JH. Using PDE inhibitors to harness the benefits of calorie restriction: lessons from resveratrol. Aging (Albany NY). 2012 Mar 4.
Park SJ, Ahmad F, Philp A, Baar K, Williams T, Luo H, Ke H, Rehmann H, Taussig R, Brown AL, Kim MK, Beaven MA, Burgin AB, Manganiello V, Chung JH. Resveratrol ameliorates aging-related metabolic phenotypes by inhibiting cAMP phosphodiesterases. Cell. 2012 Feb 3;148(3):421-33.