Allahabad University scientists find ‘fisetin’ slows down brain aging

Allahabad, UTTAR PRADESH :

The results of the AU study conclude that fisetin can protect the brain from damage induced by aging. (HT)
The results of the AU study conclude that fisetin can protect the brain from damage induced by aging. (HT)

A team of scientists at the Allahabad University has established that a natural compound called fisetin, found in strawberry, apple, onion and cucumber, can restore brain functions which deteriorate during aging.

A team of scientists at the Allahabad University has established that a natural compound called fisetin, found in strawberry, apple, onion and cucumber, can restore brain functions which deteriorate during aging.

The findings of the team, led by Prof SI Rizvi from the department of biochemistry at AU, have been published in the latest issue of American research journal Life Sciences.

Scientists acknowledge that oxidative stress is a major factor responsible for age-related changes in living organisms. Oxidative stress is the condition when the damage, due to the toxic form of oxygen molecules, exceeds the capacity of the body to repair such damage.

“It is a paradox that oxygen, which is essential for life, becomes the cause of aging,” said Prof Rizvi.

“In human body, most of the oxygen is consumed by the brain. Therefore, it is the brain that becomes more vulnerable to oxidative stress. With increase in age, brain cells degenerate leading to diseases and loss of brain function,” he said.

Through experiments, the research team analysed a host of biomarkers of aging, including pro-oxidants, antioxidants, mitochondrial function, expression of genes, and apoptosis cell death.

The results of the AU study conclude that fisetin can protect the brain from damage induced by aging.

“The study was carried out on rats of different ages and also on those which were chemically induced to age faster,” said Prof Rizvi.

Fisetin was given to rats of old age and the effect was compared with the younger ones. Fisetin-treated old rats were protected from brain damage.

Among all anti-aging strategies being explored, caloric restriction is the most promising which, in common terms, can be defined as less food intake.

Caloric restriction has been effectively tested in small organisms like fruit fly and earthworms. The strategy becomes difficult to implement in humans where several ethical issues are involved.

Scientists have stumbled upon a class of compounds which mimic the effect of caloric restriction. With the use of these compounds, known as caloric restriction mimetics, the body feels like it is food restricted without the need of eating less.

According to Prof Rizvi, fisetin works as a caloric restriction mimetic in showing its anti-aging effect on rats. “Scientists are hopeful that compounds exhibiting caloric restriction mimetic effects will prove to be good anti-aging drugs,” he said.
Several experimental drugs are being tested in Prof Rizvi’s lab for possible anti-aging effects. “Although an increase in human lifespan may not be possible, it may increase the health span,” Prof Rizvi added.

source: http://www.hindustantimes.com / Hindustan Times / Home> Cities> Lucknow / by K. Sandeep Kumar , Hindustan Times, Allahabad / January 08th, 2018

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