The trend towards eating fewer processed and pre-packaged foods is more popular then ever. And no wonder. Scientific studies continue to show that a diet filled with natural foods can help the body heal, fight off infection and support overall wellbeing. Now, researchers from University of Minnesota Medical School discovered that a natural substance, called Fisetin, present in many fruits and vegetables, can benefit health and lifespan because it reduces the burden of damaged cells.
Damaged Cells Can Mean Trouble
As people age, damaged cells accumulate in the body. The cell’s aging process even has a name. Scientists call it cellular senescence.
Typically, the body’s immune system helps the body get rid of damaged cells. The system knows when to clear away these cells because they release inflammatory substances to trigger the “cleanup.”
Yet, when a person’s immune system is compromised or less effective, which is common in mature adults, the body may not do its job as effectively. The immune system does not always clear away damaged cells as quickly or thoroughly as it should.
Consequently, as we age, these damaged cells accumulate, putting the body under some extra undue stress. They cause inflammation, and in response, the body releases enzymes that start to degrade tissues, even healthy tissue.
Research Shows Why Diet Can Slow Aging
In recent research, the University of Minnesota Medical School faculty Paul D. Robbins and Laura J. Niedernhofer and Mayo Clinic investigators James L. Kirkland and Tamara Tchkonia showed it was possible to reduce the burden of damaged cells, and as a result, extend your lifespan and improve health. Specifically, these scientists studied the effect that the natural product Fisetin had on aged mice.
Fisetin is a substance that’s present in many fruits and vegetable. The researchers discovered that even if Fisetin treatment was initiated late in the mouse’s life, it had significant positive effects on health and lifespan.
Although the researchers used a drug form of Fisetin, this substance may be one of the reasons why people who eat lots of fresh produce feel younger and live longer. We know that there are many important nutrients in fresh foods, such as dietary fiber. Now, science is also showing that a simple dietary habit – eating more fresh fruits and vegetables – can benefit health and lifespan because it reduces the burden of damaged cells.
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