Abstract: Studies show that the plant polyphenol resveratrol can extend the life span of yeast, worms, flies, and fish. It also mitigates the metabolic dysfunction of mice fed high-fat diets. Resveratrol appears to mediate these effects partly by activating SIRT1, a deacetylase enzyme that regulates the activity of several transcriptional factors and enzymes responsive to nutrient availability. However, few foods contain resveratrol and humans metabolize it extensively, resulting in very low systemic bioavailability. Substantial research effort now focuses on identifying and testing more bioavailable and potent activators of SIRT1 for use as pharmacologic interventions in aging and age-related disorders. (C) 2008 International Life Sciences Institute.