SIRT1: How Meditation Taps Resveratrol’s Benefits, Longevity
Meditation: Reap The Benefits Of Red Wine, Minus The Hangover
The Magic Of Resveratrol
You have seen the headlines. Red wine, in small amounts, can extend your life.
In 2016, Antonio Docampo Garcia, a 107 year old Spanish vineyard owner, credited his longevity to drinking four bottles (!) of the good stuff every day. Yeah, moderation.
The crimson colored superfood is credited for the "French Paradox," a highly researched phenomena where people living in certain parts of wine-happy France have far fewer cases of heart disease, and far more durable tickers overall.
While our ancestors drank barrel after barrel to treat countless ailments, thousands of scientific and anecdotal studies have followed up to confirm the powerful elixir's wide reaching health benefits.
So, what’s the magic ingredient in red wine? Resveratrol.
Sitting atop Dr. Oz’s "4 Top Supplements For A Longer Life" list, it seems every month or two we see a newspaper article gushing about a newly discovered reservatrol fountain of youth-like benefit.
With more than 220,000 Google Scholar search results, this natural antioxidant packs a heavy academic research paper punch.
What can it do? With benefits like improving memory, cutting fat cells, slowing cancer, inhibiting vascular disease, preventing brain deterioration (Alzheimer's, dementia, etc), lowering cholesterol, and reversing free radical damage, resveratrol’s anti-aging properties could crash an Excel spreadsheet.
How Resveratrol Works: The Mythical Anti-Aging Sirtuin (SIRT1) Gene/Protein Family
There are two key reasons resveratrol extends human life. The first one is common knowledge for most folks: resveratrol is a strong antioxidant. You probably knew that.
Second, and perhaps most importantly, resveratrol activates a very powerful longevity family of genes and proteins known as 'sirtuins.' These guys have received tons of media attention in the last decade, and for very good reason.
In 2003, Harvard University’s world famous molecular geneticist Dr. David Sinclair (one of TIME Magazine’s "100 Most Influential People In The World" - 2014 edition) found that, by activating a prominent member of the 'sirtuin' gene family (SIRT1), resveratrol increased cell survival in yeast and mice by nearly 30%!
Sirtuins and the proteins they encode have received loads of financial investment from heavy hitting pharmaceutical companies looking to isolate their mythical anti-aging properties.
Like who? In 2008, GlaxoSmithKline purchased ‘Sirtris', a Cambridge, Massachusetts based biotech company who initially sought to make drugs which act on sirtuins.
While the astronomical purchase price ($720 million) caused a media coverage fever pitch, GSK ultimately had problems making good on their investment and closed the branch's doors in 2013. Bottlin' up mother nature ain’t easy.
Luckily, you can activate sirtuins another way. One where you can live long and prosper without waiting for a wonder drug, or if shotgunning bottles of red wine isn't your thing (humor aside, moderation is key). It’s called meditation.
How Meditation Boosts 'SIRT1' By A Whopping 52%!
A 2017 study published in the "Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity" journal (Tolahunase et al) examined the cellular aging of 96 meditators over 12 weeks. What did they find?
After measuring a variety of key "metabotrophic" cellular aging biomarkers, the researchers found that meditation had "significantly reduced the rate of cellular aging in apparently healthy population."
Included among their many intriguing test results was the most prominent member of the red wine/resveratrol linked 'Sirtuin' family of proteins. According to the researchers, the meditators' Sirtuin 1 levels were boosted by a massive 52% (26.69 -> 40.64)!
Can meditation allow us to reap the life lengthening benefits of red wine without the red wine? This study certainly makes that case.