6 Plant Extracts Found To Delay Yeast Aging

6 plants extracts work synergistically to delay yeast aging by acting on several biochemical pathways, and an extract from white willow bark has the most pronounced effect

In a study published in Oncotarget, researchers have tested several plant extracts on yeast cells in a bid to regulate several signalling pathways and delay the aging process. Prior research has revealed that modulating several pathways reaps longevity rewards in animals and model organisms; affecting genes such as mTOR and AMPK involved with nutrient sensing, growth and garbage disposal. Both metformin and rapamycin work in part by affecting these pathways. 

"It's known that some of these signalling pathways delay aging if activated in response to certain nutrients or hormones. These pathways are called 'anti-aging' or 'pro-longevity' pathways. Other signalling pathways speed up aging if activated in response to certain other nutrients or hormones. These pathways are called 'pro-aging' or 'pro-death' pathways"

Each of the 6 extracts specifically targeted either 'pro-aging' or 'anti-aging' pathways - upregulating or inhibiting them accordingly. Each worked by either imitating caloric restriction, mildly stressing the body in a process called hormesis, or targeting known and unknown age-related biochemical pathways. The extracts achieved the most pronounced extension in yeast yet achieved and acted synergistically in varying combinations by carefully tweaking the different pathways in unison. 

"This study is an important step forward for science because these signaling pathways could eventually delay the onset and progression of chronic diseases associated with human aging"

What were the extracts?

The extracts in the study were isolated from these plants: Cimicifuga racemosa (Black Cohosh), Valeriana officinalis (Valerian), Passiflora incarnata (Passionflower), Ginkgo biloba, Apium graveolens (Celery) and Salix alba (White willow bark). White willow bark extract had the most pronounced effect on yeast cell lifespan, and is already associated with potent anti-inflammatory activity, given that aspirin was developed from the bark. While all of these supplements are approved for human use and aging is evolutionarily conserved, which means there is likely to be some relevance in humans, it's difficult to extrapolate the results to human use until we get more data. 

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