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article imageNew drug could combat the aging process

By Tim Sandle     Nov 22, 2018 in Science
People get older, their bodies age and there’s not much that can be done to prevent this, right? Perhaps there is something. Researchers have been looking at Fisetin, which is a naturally-occurring chemical with potential anti-aging benefits.
The properties of the chemical Fisetin that intrigues researchers are the way the substance assists with the clearance of damaged, senescent cells. Fisetin is a plant polyphenol and one of the flavonoid group. Flavonoids exert a range of biological activities such as antioxidant, anticarcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, immune-stimulating, and antiviral. With Fisetin, the chemical is found in many plants, and in many fruits and vegetables like strawberries, apples, persimmons, onions and cucumbers.
Previous research has demonstrated how intakes of the chemical can extend the life of simple organisms like yeast, worms, and flies, as well as displaying anti-cancer activity when used in studies on cells and model animals. Whether such health benefits take place in a complex organism like a human has been uncertain.
Researchers have been looking into this further. The research is a collaboration between University of Minnesota Medical School and Mayo Clinic. The research considered how part of the aging process is based on accumulation of damaged, senescent cells which are not ‘cleared’ by the immune system, and this leads to low-level inflammation and tissue degradation.
To explore how Fisetin could help, the researhcers administered the chemical into aging mice and examined their life-spans plus the levels of senescent cells present.
According to lead researcher Paul Robins: “These results suggest that we can extend the period of health, termed health span, even towards the end of life.”
He adds: “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 research concluded that Fisetin does show senotherapeutic activity in mice and in human tissues. In particular, later life intervention yields a potent health benefit. The characteristics of the chemical suggest that the next phase should be with human clinical studies.
The new research has been published in the journal EBioMedicin. The research paper is titled “Fisetin is a senotherapeutic that extends health and lifespan.”
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