The World Health Organization (WHO) assigns high priority to the prevention of non-communicable age-related diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke and chronic lower respiratory diseases. They are now the leading causes of death, in both industrialised and developing countries, mostly due to increased life expectancy and urbanisation with associated changes in lifestyle and environment. Tobacco smoking, physical inactivity and resulting obesity are established risk factors for many chronic diseases.
In ageing, alterations in inflammatory/immune response and antioxidant capacity lead to increased susceptibility to diseases and loss of mobility and agility. Various essential micronutrients in the diet are involved in age-altered biological functions. Micronutrients (zinc, copper, iron) play a pivotal role either in maintaining and reinforcing the immune and antioxidant performances or in affecting the complex network of genes (nutrigenomic approach) involved in encoding proteins for a correct inflammatory/immune response.
Dietary or calorie restriction (DR, CR), defined as reduced food intake without malnutrition, imparts many benefits in model organisms. Extended longevity is the most popularized benefit but the least clinically relevant due to the requirement for long-term food restriction. DR also promotes stress resistance and metabolic fitness. Emerging data in experimental models and in humans indicate that these benefits occur rapidly upon initiation of DR, suggesting potential clinical relevance.
The Mediterranean diet and consumption of olive oil have been connected in several studies with longevity and a reduced risk of morbidity and mortality. Lifestyle, such as regular physical activity, a healthy diet, and the existing social cohesion in Southern European countries have been recognised as candidate protective factors that may explain the Mediterranean Paradox. Along with some other characteristics of the Mediterranean diet, the use of olive oil as the main source of fat is common in Southern European countries.
Leukocyte telomere length (LTL) and rate of telomere shortening are known biomarkers of aging while, numerous studies showed that Mediterranean diet (MD) may boost longevity. We studied association between telomere length, telomerase activity and different adherence to MD and its effects on healthy status. The study was conducted in 217 elderly subjects stratified according Mediterranean diet score (MDS) in low adherence (MDS?3), medium adherence (MDS 4-5) and high adherence (MDS?6) groups.
Climacteric: The Journal of the International Menopause Society
Interactions between genetic (genome) and environmental factors (epigenome) operate during a person's entire lifespan. The aging process is associated with several cellular and organic functional alterations that, at the end, cause multi-organic cell failure. Epigenetic mechanisms of aging are modifiable by appropriate preventive actions mediated by sirtuins, caloric input, diet components, adipose tissue-related inflammatory reactions, and physical activity.
Besides synthesizing nutritive substances (proteins, fats and carbohydrates) for energy and growth, plants produce numerous non-energetic so-called secondary metabolites (mainly polyphenols) that allow them to protect themselves against infections and other types of hostile environments. Interestingly, these polyphenols often provide cells with valuable bioactive properties for the maintenance of their functions and homeostasis (signaling, gene regulation, protection against acquired or infectious diseases, etc.) both in humans and animals.
Metformin is a drug commonly prescribed to treat patients with type 2 diabetes. Here we show that long-term treatment with metformin (0.1% w/w in diet) starting at middle age extends healthspan and lifespan in male mice, while a higher dose (1% w/w) was toxic. Treatment with metformin mimics some of the benefits of calorie restriction, such as improved physical performance, increased insulin sensitivity, and reduced low-density lipoprotein and cholesterol levels without a decrease in caloric intake.
Adiponectin secreted from adipocytes binds to adiponectin receptors AdipoR1 and AdipoR2, and exerts antidiabetic effects via activation of AMPK and PPAR-? pathways, respectively. Levels of adiponectin in plasma are reduced in obesity, which causes insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Thus, orally active small molecules that bind to and activate AdipoR1 and AdipoR2 could ameliorate obesity-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes. Here we report the identification of orally active synthetic small-molecule AdipoR agonists.
Recent studies in mice have identified single molecules that can delay multiple diseases of aging and extend lifespan. In theory, such molecules could prevent dozens of diseases simultaneously, potentially extending healthy years of life. In this review, we discuss recent advances, controversies, opportunities, and challenges surrounding the development of SIRT1 activators, molecules with the potential to delay aging and age-related diseases. Sirtuins comprise a family of NAD?-dependent deacylases that are central to the body's response to diet and exercise.