Which Dietary Formula Will Maintain
Youthful Function Into Old Age?
Researchers at McMaster University have developed a cocktail of
ingredients that forestalls major aspects of the aging process.
The findings are published in the current issue of Experimental
Biology and Medicine.
"As we all eventually learn, aging diminishes our mind,
fades our perception of the world and compromises our physical
capacity," says David Rollo, associate professor of biology
at McMaster. "Declining physical activity -- think of grandparents
versus toddlers -- is one of the most reliable expressions of
aging and is also a good indicator of obesity and general mortality
The study found that a complex dietary supplement powerfully
offsets this key symptom of aging in old mice by increasing the
activity of the cellular furnaces that supply energy -- or mitochondria
-- and by reducing emissions from these furnaces -- or free radicals
-- that are thought to be the basic cause of aging itself.
Most of the primary causes of human mortality and decline are
strongly correlated with age and free-radical processes, including
heart disease, stroke, Type II diabetes, many cancers, neurodegenerative
diseases, and inflammatory and autoimmune conditions. Successful
intervention into the aging process could consequently prevent
or forestall all of these.
Using bagel bits soaked in the supplement to ensure consistent
and accurate dosing, the formula maintained youthful levels of
locomotor activity into old age whereas old mice that were not
given the supplement showed a 50 per cent loss in daily movement,
a similar dramatic loss in the activity of the cellular furnaces
that make our energy, and declines in brain signaling chemicals
relevant to locomotion. This builds on the team's findings that
the supplement extends longevity, prevents cognitive declines,
and protects mice from radiation.
Ingredients consists of items that were purchased in local stores
selling vitamin and health supplements for people, including vitamins
B1, C, D, E, acetylsalicylic acid, beta carotene, folic acid,
garlic, ginger root, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, green tea extract,
magnesium, melatonin, potassium, cod liver oil, and flax seed
oil. Multiple ingredients were combined based on their ability
to offset five mechanisms involved in aging.
For Rollo, the results go beyond simply prolonging the lifespan.
"For aging humans maintaining zestful living into later
years may provide greater social and economic benefits than simply
extending years of likely decrepitude," he says. "This
study obtained a truly remarkable extension of physical function
in old mice, far greater than the respectable extension of longevity
that we previous documented. This holds great promise for extending
the quality of life of "health span" of humans."
Development of new and hopefully more effective supplements is
Funding for this study was provided by the Natural Sciences and
Engineering Research Council of Canada.
Reference Sources 128
February 12, 2010