Sirtuin gene activators

Man has always been on an eternal quest for the fountain of youth. In the effort to enhance longevity he has studied how various cells and organisms age. Latest discoveries reveal that the secret lies in the activation and enhancement of the sirtuins gene activators.

What are Sirtuins?

Sirtuins are a family of genes, found in mammals and labelled as SIRT1 to SIRT7. They increase the efficiency of an organism to fight stress like excess heat or lack of food maintaining its power of natural defence. They maximise the chances of survival of an organism. They can also increase their longevity and health if they remain activated for a longer time. They are also called longevity genes because they banish diseases causing old age.

Sirtuins can be activated in two ways:

  • By restricting calorie intake
  • By using supplements like Resveratrol

By the intake of highly absorbable nutrients, cell repair can be stimulated and supported, and mitochondrial function can be optimised. Research has given us enough evidence that the interaction between specialised gene receptors and nutritional supplements can be modified by gene expression.


Resveratrol functions as sirtuin activator resulting in anti-aging. Amazing facts about its effects on Bacterial Infection, Free Radicals, Alzheimerís Disease, Inflammation, Viral infection, Mitochondrial Activation, Fat Metabolism, Cardiovascular System, High Cholestrol, Age Reversal and Longevity, Hypertension and Type 2 Diabetes have been revealed by various scientific research and discoveries.

The Working of Resveratrol

Mitochondria which are like little furnaces in our cells, burn out the fats and nutrients into energy. With age this metabolism slows down and the mitochondria starts deteriorating. Resveratrol, activates SIRT1 a special enzyme to create mitochondria. This in return maintains the blood pressure and blood sugar, increases energy and protects the liver, heart and circulatory system as it is an effective antioxidant.

During the past decade, sirtuins have also been considered of great importance in drug management. Sirtuins gene activators are enzymes which play a very vital role in gene activation of all organisms ranging from Prokaryotes to humans. Sirtuin modulation is very beneficial for neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes and cancer, which are associated with aging. Some class of sirtuins, when activated can prove beneficial, while others which act as inhibitors can offer various options for treatment.

There are a variety of sirtuins gene activators. When the SIRT1 gene is activated, it produces proteins which protect the cells from degenerative diseases and premature aging by curbing oxidative stress and inflammation. When we have a low calorie diet, the gene which acts as a defence mechanism is activated, giving the cells that extra protection,when it is needed the most. Research has proved that animals which are kept on low calorie restricted diet have an enhanced lifespan of 40% when compared to their counterparts, which have no calorie restrictions. Resveratrol plays a very important role in calorie restriction. The higher the SIRT1 level, the slower is the process of aging, which is a key to healthy life.

Among the sirtuins gene activators, SIRT1, a gene which belongs to the family of mammals, has a high potential for increasing lifespan, preventing diseases that cause aging, and increasing the cell life, as it plays a vital role in regulating metabolism of the cells, antioxidant responses and preventing inflammation. It also influences pathological disorders like Alzheimerís and type 2 diabetes. Calorie restriction influences insulin sensitivity and glucose homeostasis. Resveratrol , mimics the anti-aging effects of calorie restrictions in mice and other organisms, fed on a high fat diet. It increases mitochondrial content and restructures insulin resistance resulting in prolonged survival. Small molecular activators, more potent than resveratrol, bind to the SIRT1 enzyme, lower plasma glucose, improve insulin sensitivity and increase mitochondrial capacity in genetically obese mice and diet induced mice. It was found that the SIRT1 sirtuin gene activators improved the insulin sensitivity in adipose tissue, liver and skeletal muscles besides improving the glucose homeostasis of the whole body. Thus it has been considered a promising approach for treating type 2 diabetes.

It has now been established that calorie restriction (CR) restructures diseases of aging like type 2 diabetes, besides having a large number of health benefits.

SIRT1 sirtuin gene activators is considered to be a tumour promoter as it is found in higher titres of some types of cancers, and it plays a vital role in inactivating the proteins that suppress the growth of tumours, and helps in DNA damage repair. Although some studies show that in some types of cancer, the SIRT1 levels are reduced which result in tumorigenesis and genetic disability. As SIRT1 Sirtuins gene activators deacetylates and inactivates tumour suppressors, the controversy that Sirt1 is a tumour promoter or tumour suppressor still remains debatable.

While treating cancer, the role of small chemicals or endogenous genes that inhibit or activate SIRT1 needs to be identified irrespective of the fact that Sirt1 is a suppressor or a promoter. As SIRT2 plays a very important role in the extension of the lifespan in yeast, Drosophilia and elegans, investigations are being made to study how effective SIRT1 is, in mammals.

The incidence of cancer is more common in aged people as aging is the most powerful carcinogen for cancer. The conditions which are most feasible for the extension of lifespan and inhibiting tumour formation need to be defined, for eg. Mutations that increase lifespan also act as suppressors for the growth of tumours, as also calorie restriction which activates SIRT1, protects against cancer and increases the lifespan of organisms.

This has been proved by observing mice, which were administered a very low dose of dietary resveratrol which mimics a calorie restricted diet and it was found to have retarded aging parameters in them. It also enhances fat oxidation by protecting against metabolic disorders which are diet- induced by maintaining low energy levels.

It has been observed that the cancer cells are aggressive in nature, which requires a very high level of energy for anabolic processes which promote the synthesis of DNA, lipids and proteins. If SIRT sirtuin gene activators are given in high doses it reduces the formation of the cancer of the colon. This proves that by increasing SIRT1, metabolism increases which extends the lifespan and reduces the risk of cancer in humans.

By encoding multiple enzymatic and signalling systems, the human genome protects our body from constant threats of toxic compounds and radiation which harm our cells and tissues. These systems provide natural protection with the help of some detoxifying enzymes like manganese superoxide dismutase. Besides these, the DNA damage sensors are activated by geno toxicity which preserve its cellular integrity. These cell protection systems are regulated by a broad suite of cellular genes, which encode enzymes responsible for DNA repair and oxygen detoxification. These cell regulatory systems can also modify cell stress resistance and DNA repair and respond to external as well as internal signals. These regulators of cell defence are called sirtuin enzymes.

Research conducted on unicellular and multi-cellular organisms has proved that sirtuins gene activators are released during stress to boost up their survival. These conditions may also occur if the organism is deprived of adequate nutrition. Experiments conducted on flies, worms and yeast go to prove this. They also affect their longevity due to dietary restrictions. Sirtuins which enhance the conditions required for the survival of the organisms, also influence responses to toxicity in mammals. This information can be of therapeutic use in treating neurodegenerative disorders in all living organisms.

In a study conducted on animals, it was observed that when sirtuin 1 gene proteins were given in smaller amounts, it improved the health, but when the doses were increased 7.5 fold, it resulted in heart failure in mice.
Just when it was established that resveratrol mimicked a calorie restricted diet, scientists at National Institutes of health reported that another gene called FOXO3 was responsible for activating Sirtuin1. In the absence of this gene, calorie restrictions inhibited the expression of Sirtuin 1. The sirtuin gene activator works with the FOXO1gene in decreasing the free radicals which cause aging.

A study conducted in Harvardís throws light on the fact that inhibiting Sirtuin gene activity results in senescence. The study also reveals the fact that a restricted calorie diet does not activate sirtuin gene uniformly in all the organs of the body, for eg. A diet high in calories activates Sirtuin in the liver while a low calorie diet inhibits it. Hence a systematic approach should be taken while studying the role of sirtuins in calorie restriction and aging.

Genes react to biological stressors like heat, cold, radiation, food deprivation, excess food, etc. The human genome has 30,000 genes. Soon we shall learn to compare and contrast between the various kinds of diets, whether it is a calorie restricted diet or a diet supplemented by resveratrol.

Aging can be prevented by inducing restrictions in calories in the heart and the skeletal muscles. Mineral controllers will exert the greatest effect over the genes with regard to aging. On reaching adulthood, the minerals which accumulate in the body cause aging. The removal of these minerals from the body might restore youth to his aging cells and this might end his eternal quest for the fountain of youth, which he has been looking for so earnestly.