Health

This Japanese plant could hold the key to extended youth

This Japanese plant could hold the key to extended youth
By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 2/25/2019 12:00:00 AM IST

Garding ashitaba's benefits is accumulating exponentially. "It is always nice to find a scientific rationale for traditional medical folk tales," Prof. Madeo notes.

After identifying DMC as a potential autophagy-booster, the researchers' first step was to conduct experiments in yeast cells. These soon revealed that the substance did protect these cells from age-related damage, and it did so more efficiently than other compounds known to bring similar benefits, such as resveratrol, a phenol found in grape skin.

Further experiments on fruit fly and worm cells yielded the same results. "Remarkably, chronic DMC treatment [...] prolonged the median lifespan of both model organisms by approximately 20 percent," the investigators write.

The team did not stop here, however. It also tested the effect of DMC on mouse heart cells, findings that the substance once more boosted autophagy. DMC also appeared to protect against liver damage caused by ethanol (pure alcohol).

Finally, Prof. Madeo and colleagues tested the compound's effect on different types of human cells, confirming the same positive outcome, although the researchers warn that real certainty can only come from future clinical trials.

"The experiments indicate that the effects of DMC might be transferable to humans, although we have to be cautious and wait for real clinical trials."

Prof. Frank Madeo, Ph.D.

The next step from here, the researchers say, will be to conduct a more detailed study in mice, assessing whether DMC's protective effect on heart cells means that the substance will also shield the rodents from age-related diseases.

Maria Cohut

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