Fruits have a ton of health benefits, and there are a few that may even help slow down the aging process, according to a new report.
Researchers from the University of Minnesota Medical School recently conducted a study, published in the EBioMedicine journal, to determine how fisetin, a natural drug and a plant-based chemical found in many fruits and vegetables, can help extend lifespan.
As a person becomes older, their cells naturally become more damaged and go through an aging process called cellular senescence, the scientists explained. While these damaged cells are normally cleared out when a person is young, the body has a harder time getting rid of them as a person ages.
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“Thus they begin to accumulate, cause low-level inflammation and release enzymes that can degrade the tissue,” the team explained.
Fisetin, however, might be able to assist in eliminating the damaged cells. The scientists previously published a study that proved the drug, found in apples, strawberries, onions and cucumbers, could improve physical function in old age, so they tested their hypothesis by giving it to aging mice.
After analyzing the results, they found that the rodents' lifespan had extended by more than 10 percent.
“These results suggest that we can extend the period of health, termed healthspan, even towards the end of life,” the team wrote.
The team then tested fisetin on human tissue in a laboratory to explore how it would interact with human cells. They were able to reduce the damaged ones, which means the process could also work for people.
But they said they would need to adjust the fisetin dosage as the amount usually found in fruits and vegetables isn't enough to get the same outcome.
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