If only all beauty routines were this delicious: a team of scientists from the Universities of Exeter and Brighton has discovered that a compound found in red wine and chocolate could help rejuvenating cells.
The study found that resveratrol analogues could make cells look and behave as if they were younger. Resveratrol is a substance naturally found on red wine and chocolate (dark), as well as in red grapes and blueberries. The researchers discovered that “under growth permissive conditions, cells demonstrating restored splicing factor expression also demonstrated increased telomere length, re-entered cell cycle and resumed proliferation.”
In other words, under the right conditions, cells demonstrated a slower rate of ageing and showed characteristics that would have been expected of younger cells such as longer telomeres (this is a part of the chromosome that shortens as we age), indicating that the compound could be promising for anti-degenerative therapies.
Lorna Harries, Professor of Molecular Genetics at the University of Exeter, who led the study, said: “This is a first step in trying to make people live normal lifespans, but with health for their entire life. Our data suggests that using chemicals to switch back on the major class of genes that are switched off as we age might provide a means to restore function to old cells.”
Dr Eva Latorre, Research Associate at the University of Exeter, who carried out the experiments was surprised by the extent and rapidity of the changes in the cells. “When I saw some of the cells in the culture dish rejuvenating I couldn’t believe it. These old cells were looking like young cells. It was like magic,” she said. “I repeated the experiments several times and in each case the cells rejuvenated. I am very excited by the implications and potential for this research.”
More information: exeter.ac.uk