New research carried out at the University of Minnesota and Mayo Clinic shows that there may be actionable ways to slow down the aging process. Building on previous research carried out by the same teams, the latest developments show naturally occurring products, found in fruit and vegetables, has a positive effect on lifespan and general health.
This new development has built upon research published in the Nature Medicine Journal by a collaborative team of both the University of Minnesota Medical School faculty and Mayo Clinic.
The research team combining Paul D. Robbins, Laura J. Niedernhofer, James L. Kirkland and Tamara Tchkonia initially found that the burden of damaged cells (senescent cells) could be reduced for the extension of lifespan and improved health, even when treatment began late into life.
The research was then further expanded on as they found treating aged mice with the naturally occurring product Fisetin could have significantly positive impacts on health and lifespan.
Natural Treatment for Cell Regeneration and Life Extension
The aging process in all animals involves the accumulation of damaged cells.
When cells reach a certain level of damage they go through their own individual aging process, known as cellular senescence. When this process begins the cells also send out a signal in the form of inflammatory factors which tell the body’s immune system to clear away the cells as they are becoming burdensome rather than useful.
Younger bodies are able to effectively clear damaged cells but as we age it becomes more difficult. Once our bodies begin to find it difficult to clear damaged cells they build up causing low level inflammation in the body and also enzymes which can begin to degrade the body’s tissue.
This research saw the team focusing in on a naturally occurring produced called Fisetin. Fisetin occurs naturally in many fruits and vegetables and the team found it can reduce the level of damaged cells in the body.
Their research focused on mice in the later stages of their life and treating the mice with Fisetin to see what differences occurred. Fisetin was found to be what they described as a “senotherpeutic” which can extend health and lifespan and the paper discussing their findings was published in the EBioMedicine Journal.
Drawbacks to Fisetin Treatment
This is evidently a very new discovery and therefore there are drawbacks and limitations to look into before it is further tested. The right dosage of Fisetin is a key factor which needs to be determined.
The compound may definitely be able to extend the period of health but working out how much is necessary to achieve this is key to it being trialled in human medicine. Research also need to look at how it acts on different tissues and different cell types in an aging body.
They recognize that the treatment can attack and remove senescent cells and the latest evidence shows it particularly focuses in on these types of cells rather than destroying tissue in general.
As explained this drug has only been tested on mice in a research environment at present. However, it poses great potential for battling the problem of aging and the aging population the world is now facing.
The initial discoveries from this research team may set out a new way forward for treating ill health in later life and ensuring a longer period of health in life.