Researchers with the National Institutes of Health say they have identified a possible method of action for resveratrol. Their study using mice shows that resveratrol affects the activity of sirtuin 1, a protein associated with aging, indirectly as opposed to directly.
“This is good news. Despite well-documented health benefits of resveratrol, the mechanism of action has been elusive,” said Michael I. McBurney, PhD, head of scientific affairs for DSM Nutritional Products, which markets a nature-identical form of resveratrol called resVida.
Several previous studies suggested that resveratrol’s primary target is sirtuin 1. The researchers suspected otherwise when they found that resveratrol activity required another protein called AMPK. The study found that resveratrol inhibits proteins known as phosphodiesterases (PDEs), enzymes that help regulate cell energy.
“It has been hypothesized that the health benefits of resveratrol are modulated through energy-sensing pathways involving the sirtuin family of proteins. These findings from the NIH are intriguing because they provide insight,” McBurney said.
The NIH likely won’t affect the messaging surrounding resVida.
“In nutrition, understanding mechanisms of action is of paramount importance. However, DSM bases its resVida claims on clinical studies in humans,” McBurney said.