Do We Age on Sirt1 Expression?
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See related article, pages 1512–1521
Aging leads to a progressive decline in multiple organ systems, including the heart. Heart failure in response to cellular aging and chronic or acute cellular stresses represents one of the major burdens of the western civilization. Over the last 15 years, the interest in the therapeutic use of caloric restriction to prevent aging has emerged. However, it is difficult to determine whether caloric restriction influences longevity in humans because no validated biomarker exists, which can serve as a surrogate marker of aging and it is impossible to conduct a randomized, diet-controlled long-term survival study in humans. Nevertheless, caloric restriction has been shown in several studies to lower fasting plasma glucose concentration and serum low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, to decrease insulin resistance, visceral fat mass and the levels of inflammatory markers. Most of these markers are known to be risk factors for coronary heart disease. Thus, even it is not known whether caloric restriction does prolong maximum life-span, it could increase life expectancy and the quality of late life by reducing the burden of chronic diseases. However, the precise biological and cellular mechanisms responsible for aging and the antiaging effects of caloric restriction are not known. Moreover, even if caloric restriction would result in an increase in maximum life span in humans, it will be difficult to maintain long-term caloric restriction in modern society. Therefore, one major interest is to develop caloric restriction mimetics to provide all of the “healthy” physiological, metabolic and hormonal effects of caloric restriction without the need to reduce food intake. Based on these ideas, it has been proposed, that resveratrol increases lifespan in several different organisms, mimicking the effects of caloric restriction.1 Recent reports indicate, that resveratrol can even restore the health and lifespan of mice on a high calorie …