Discover the antiaging properties of apples and strawberries
(NaturalHealth365) With each passing year, more and more people are looking for better antiaging strategies. And science is working hard to fill the demand – as baby boomers move into their ‘golden years.’
No doubt, the ‘graying of America’ has become more pronounced and, so have the age-related degenerative diseases. But, despite all the negative news about dementia, heart disease and cancer, there is a natural way to age gracefully.
It’s all begins with the food we eat. For example, a natural compound – fisetin – found in apples and strawberries offer great antiaging effects. This powerful antioxidant flavonoid is emerging at the very center of a cutting-edge antiaging therapy known as senolytics.
How can eating fruit become an intelligent antiaging strategy?
A primary factor in aging is cellular senescence, in which older cells can no longer divide. When this occurs, the cell then issues inflammatory signals that trigger the immune system to destroy and “clear out” the damaged cell.
While the process of individual cells becoming senescent occurs in young and old organisms alike, older systems can’t dispose of these worn-out cells with the ease manifested by the young.
However, researchers have learned that certain flavonoids from plants can act as senolytics, meaning they can help target and destroy senescent cells – and in the process prolong lifespan and improve health.
In groundbreaking research published in 2011, scientists at the Mayo Clinic showed that merely getting rid of senescent cells could increase the lifespan of mice by a substantial 25 percent!
And, it appears it’s never too late to benefit from senolytics. Other animal studies have suggested that senolytics can be effective even when applied later in life. Therefore, nourishing the body with lots of flavonoids (found in fruit) is a smart move.
Research NEWS: Fisetin from strawberries and apples comes out on top
A new study conducted by teams of scientists at the University of Minnesota Medical School and the Mayo Clinic in Rochester examined exactly which senolytics were the most effective at “putting the brakes” on aging.
In the study, which was published in EBioMedicine, researchers tested the effects of ten different plant compounds – including quercetin, curcumin (derived from turmeric) and fisetin – on aging mice. Of the ten, fisetin emerged as the clear winner.
The researchers found that the flavonoid effectively reduced pro-inflammatory signaling. It was also associated with higher levels of glutathione, the body’s most important disease-fighting antioxidant.
Most importantly, fisetin reduced levels of senescent fat cells, prolonging lifespan.
Study leader Professor Paul D. Robbins noted that fisetin could be used to “extend the period of health… even towards the end of life.”
Study reports: Fisetin offers cognitive and anti-inflammatory benefits
Additional research supports fisetin’s ability to act against neurodegenerative disease.
In a 2017 study published in Journals of Gerontology Series A, scientists at Salk Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory explored the effects of fisetin on cognitive deficits and inflammation in aging mice.
The study, which used a strain of laboratory mice that had been genetically engineered to age prematurely, built on earlier research showing that fisetin reduced memory loss related to Alzheimer’s disease.
The mice were given fisetin daily for seven months, then were tested for memory and activity.
When compared to a control group of untreated mice, the fisetin-treated mice had decreased markers of stress and inflammation – and outperformed the control group on cognitive tests.
And, fisetin conferred its benefits without any signs of toxicity. Next, the researchers plan to conduct studies exploring the effects of fisetin on human subjects.
Fisetin targets the inflammation that lies at the root of many degenerative conditions
We know that inflammation is a normal and necessary part of the body’s immune response to pathogens, irritants and tissue injury. Normally, inflammation – which causes pain, redness, swelling and heat in the area – develops rapidly, lasts a few days, and then begins to resolve.
This type of acute inflammation can occur in response to many common events and conditions – including bronchitis, sinusitis, even rigorous exercise and routine cuts and bruises.
But, as necessary as inflammation is for healing, it can cause serious problems when it becomes chronic.
In fact, chronic inflammation – which features tissue damage and scarring – lies at the root of many potentially life-threatening diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and heart disease.
Expert say that chronic inflammation – which can last for months and even years – can result from pathogens that the body can’t break down, including foreign bodies, irritants (such as industrial chemicals) and even certain viruses.
An overactive and inappropriate immune response can also cause chronic inflammation.
Doctors may attempt to treat chronic inflammation with NSAIDS, but these medications can feature potentially life-threatening side effects – including stomach bleeding, kidney damage and increased risk of stroke and heart attack.
In contrast, fisetin is a potent anti-inflammatory agent that is also free of toxic side effects – a promising combination.
Both strawberries and apples offer a wealth of health benefits
In addition to being rich in fisetin – to the tune of 36 mg in every eight ounces – strawberries are good sources of vitamin C, soluble dietary fiber, potassium and antioxidant flavonoids such as quercetin (which is structurally similar to fisetin).
Strawberries have been shown in studies to raise beneficial HDL cholesterol – and even to protect against some types of cancer.
Like strawberries, apples are rich in potassium, fiber and antioxidant flavonoids – particularly epicatechin, which lowers blood pressure. Researchers also credit apples with lowering harmful LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
In addition to reducing risk of stroke and diabetes, apples have a protective effect on the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas, and are a prebiotic food– meaning they supply nutrients for beneficial gut bacteria.
For maximum benefit, choose fresh, ripe, organic strawberries and apples – and do eat the apple skins, which contain the highest levels of quercetin and fisetin.
Editor’s note: Although strawberries and apples are the best sources, fisetin is also found in onions, cucumber, kiwis, mangoes, grapes and tomatoes. And, of course, to avoid unwanted chemical exposures – we encourage you to get organic varieties of produce, whenever possible.
The takeaway? Recent research highlights fisetin’s exciting potential against age-related cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and stroke. It’s good to know that this senolytic flavonoid – which is poised to take its place as an important antiaging therapy – can be accessed by simply snacking on tasty fruits.
Eat up and enjoy the benefits!
Sources for this article include: