A number of small molecules with the ability to extend the lifespan of multiple organisms have recently been discovered. Resveratrol, amongst the most prominent of these, has gained widespread attention due to its ability to extend the lifespan of yeast, worms, and flies, and its ability to protect against age-related diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer's, and diabetes in mammals. In this review, we discuss the origins and molecular targets of resveratrol and provide an overview of its effects on the lifespan of simple model organisms and mammals. We also examine the unique ability of resveratrol to extend the healthy years, or healthspan, of mammals and its potential to counteract the symptoms of age-related disease. Finally, we explore the many scientific, medical, and economic challenges faced when translating these findings to the clinic, and examine potential approaches for realizing the possibility of human lifespan extension. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Resveratrol: Challenges in translating pre-clinical findings to improved patient outcomes.
Keywords: Clinical trials; Disease prevention; Healthspan extension; Lifespan extension; Resveratrol; Sirtuin activating compounds.
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