History of science is devoted to the history of science, medicine and technology from earliest times to the present day. Histories of science were originally written by practicing and retired scientists, starting primarily with William Whewell, as a way to communicate the virtues of science to the public.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Discovery of resveratrol

The history of resveratrol, the active ingredient in red grapes, peanuts, berries, and several other food plants, indirectly dates to the Ayurveda, the ancient India treatise on the science of longevity.

Resveratrol was first isolated by Takaoka in the 1940 as a constituent of the roots of white hellebore.

Later, Nonomura isolated resveratrol from Japanese knotweed of Polygonum cuspidatum, called Ko-jo-kon in Japanese in 1963.

In 1992, the presence of resveratrol was reported in red wines and recognized as a biological active compound by Siemann and Creasy.  A number of epidemiological studies suggested that the moderate consumption of red wine by French and other Mediterranean population was connected with the reduced incidence of cardiovascular disease, despite high-fat diet, little exercise and widespread smoking.

The groups of Howitz and Sinclair from Harvard Medical School reported in 2003 in the journal Nature that resveratrol significantly extends the lifespan of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
Discovery of resveratrol


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