Researchers Identify How Key Plant Extracts Delay Signs of Aging

plant extracts

In a study recently published in Oncotarget, researchers from Concordia University (Montreal) and Idunn Technologies assessed how six previously identified plant extracts can delay signs of aging. To test the plant extracts, the researchers used yeast, which is the best cellular aging model. At a cellular level, aging progresses similarly in yeast and humans, and the pace of aging is defined by a distinct set of chemical reactions arranged into several cascades or signaling pathways. These pathways regulate the rate of aging in a wide range of organisms. “It’s known that some of these signaling pathways delay aging if activated in response to certain nutrients or hormones,” says Vladimir Titorenko, Ph.D., biology professor and senior author of the study. “These pathways are called ‘anti-aging’ or ‘pro-longevity’ pathways. Other signaling pathways speed up aging if activated in response to certain other nutrients or hormones. These pathways are called ‘pro-aging’ or ‘pro-death’ pathways.”

Researchers tested six plant extracts—black cohosh, celery, ginkgo biloba, purple passionflower, valerian, and white willow bark and singled out white willow bark as the most potent age-delaying pharmacological intervention. Researchers also highlighted the following features of the six plant extracts as potential tools in decelerating chronic symptoms and diseases associated with old age:

  • Imitate the age-delaying effects of the caloric restriction diet
  • Slow aging by eliciting a mild stress response
  • Extend longevity more efficiently than any lifespan-prolonging chemical compound yet described
  • Delay aging through signaling pathways associated with age-related diseases
  • Revealed a new pathway for delaying aging
  • Extend longevity and delay the onset of age-related diseases