The phrase “an apple a day” gains more meaning as scientists come closer and closer to unlocking the fruit’s chemical properties — some of which may slow down aging. Medical News Today reports that scientists in Minnesota have now identified a key component that is present in apples and other foods such as strawberries, onions, and cucumbers. This component, called fisetin, was found to slow down the aging process in cells of mice, ultimately prolonging their lives.
Previously, researchers at the University Minnesota Medical School and the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, had identified that substances called senolytics, a type of antioxidant, could target and purge the body of aging cells — slowing down the aging process, at least in theory. Some of these researchers dug deeper in the newer study, trying to pinpoint which of these senolytics might work the best as pertaining to anti-aging efforts. They tested 10 different naturally occurring antioxidant substances in aging mice, and were able to track each substance individually using an experimental process that hadn’t been used before in the study of anti-aging compounds.
Professor Paul D. Robbins, one of the researchers conducting the study, summarized the success of the new results.
“These results suggest that we can extend the period of health, termed healthspan, even towards the end of life,” said Professor Robbins.
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However, the new study’s results are only the beginning. Professor Robbins says that there is still a lot more work to be done in order to unlock the mysteries of anti-aging compound treatment.
“[T]here are still many questions to address, including the right dosage, for example,” Robbins stated.
But it’s important to note the significance of this new study as well, says the professor.
“In addition to showing that the drug works, this is the first demonstration that shows the effects of the drug on specific subsets of these damaged cells within a given tissue.”
The new study — which pinpointed fisetin as a key anti-aging medicine — was published in the journal EBioMedicine. The study itself claims that two other flavonoids were previously found to work together in anti-aging treatments, but the goal of the new study was to find a much more potent substance. Apparently, health conditions related to age such as frailty, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular disease have already been improved in the past by using some of the less potent anti-aging substances.
The new study has not yet been tested on humans, though its researchers claim that the evidence found in mouse trials will more than likely apply to humans as well. Until we know more, it probably makes sense to keep eating your “apple a day” if you want to fight off old age.