Posted 11/3/11 on The Doctor Weighs In
Remember resveratrol? In case you forgot, this is the chemical in the red wine that allegedly allowed the French to live happily and long despite consuming fois gras , cheeses and sweetbreads. In animal experiment the stuff extended the lifespan of mice by 40%. Imagine that if your lifespan is say, 80 years. Take the magic stuff and, voilá, you are going live to 112. Small problem: the amounts present in wine are so minuscule that to duplicate the effect in humans would require hundreds of bottles of wine, daily. Sounds like a fun way to live longer, except that your liver and heart would give out within weeks or at best, months after embarking on the debauchery. The answer was to quickly start a company to commercialize the discovery, by synthesizing chemical analogues that would be hundreds of time more potent than the natural stuff.