Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have found that resveratrol, the red-wine ingredient once touted as an elixir of youth, powerfully activates an evolutionarily ancient stress response in human cells. The finding should dispel much of the mystery and controversy about how resveratrol really works.
 
“This stress response represents a layer of biology that has been largely overlooked, and resveratrol turns out to activate it at much lower concentrations than those used in prior studies,” said senior investigator Paul Schimmel, professor and member of the Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology at TSRI.
 
“With these findings we have a new, fundamental mechanism for the known beneficial effects of resveratrol,” said lead author Mathew Sajish, a senior research associate in the Schimmel laboratory.
 
The discovery is reported in the advance online edition of Nature on December 22.