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Cellular Senescence: Molecular Targets, Biomarkers, and Senolytic Drugs

2022 Apr 10

Cellular senescence is defined as irreversible cell cycle arrest caused by various processes that render viable cells non-functional, hampering normal tissue homeostasis. It has many endogenous and exogenous inducers, and is closely connected with age, age-related pathologies, DNA damage, degenerative disorders, tumor suppression and activation, wound healing, and tissue repair. However, the literature is replete with contradictory findings concerning its triggering mechanisms, specific biomarkers, and detection protocols. This may be partly due to the wide range of cellular and in vivo animal or human models of accelerated aging that have been used to study senescence and test senolytic drugs. This review summarizes recent findings concerning senescence, presents some widely used cellular and animal senescence models, and briefly describes the best-known senolytic agents.

Flavonoids—Natural Gifts to Promote Health and Longevity

2022 Feb 16

The aging of mammals is accompanied by the progressive atrophy of tissues and organs and the accumulation of random damage to macromolecular DNA, protein, and lipids. Flavonoids have excellent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective effects. Recent studies have shown that flavonoids can delay aging and prolong a healthy lifespan by eliminating senescent cells, inhibiting senescence-related secretion phenotypes (SASPs), and maintaining metabolic homeostasis. However, only a few systematic studies have described flavonoids in clinical treatment for anti-aging, which needs to be explored further. This review first highlights the association between aging and macromolecular damage. Then, we discuss advances in the role of flavonoid molecules in prolonging the health span and lifespan of organisms. This study may provide crucial information for drug design and developmental and clinical applications based on flavonoids.

Microbiome and Human Aging: Probiotic and Prebiotic Potentials in Longevity, Skin Health and Cellular Senescence

2021 Dec 18

The role of the microbiome in human aging is important: the microbiome directly impacts aging through the gastrointestinal system. However, the microbial impact on skin has yet to be fully understood. For example, cellular senescence is an intrinsic aging process that has been recently associated with microbial imbalance. With age, cells become senescent in response to stress wherein they undergo irreversible growth arrest while maintaining high metabolic activity. An accumulation of senescent cells has been linked to various aging and chronic pathologies due to an overexpression of the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP) comprised of proinflammatory cytokines, chemokines, growth factors, proteases, lipids and extracellular matrix components. In particular, dermatological disorders may be promoted by senescence as the skin is a common site of accumulation. The gut microbiota influences cellular senescence and skin disruption through the gut-skin axis and secretion of microbial metabolites. Metabolomics can be used to identify and quantify metabolites involved in senescence. Moreover, novel anti-senescent therapeutics are warranted given the poor safety profiles of current pharmaceutical drugs. Probiotics and prebiotics may be effective alternatives, considering the relationship between the microbiome and healthy aging. However, further research on gut composition under a senescent status is needed to develop immunomodulatory therapies.

Cardiovascular, mortality, and kidney outcomes with GLP-1 receptor agonists in patients with type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised trials

2021 Sep 14

GLP-1 receptor agonists reduce major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) in patients with type 2 diabetes. However, uncertainty regarding kidney outcomes persists and whether benefits extend to exendin-4-based GLP-1 receptor remains uncertain. We aimed to meta-analyse the most up-to-date evidence on the cardiovascular benefits and risks of GLP-1 receptor agonists from outcome trials in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Is Caloric Restriction Associated with Better Healthy Aging Outcomes? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

2020 Jul 30

Global dietary patterns have gradually shifted toward a ‘western type’ with progressive increases in rates of metabolic imbalance. Recently, animal and human studies have revealed positive effects of caloric restriction (CR) on many health domains, giving new knowledge for prevention of ill and health promotion; Methods: We conducted a systematic review (SR) of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) investigating the role of CR on health status in adults. A meta-analysis was performed on anthropometric, cardiovascular and metabolic outcomes; Results: A total of 29 articles were retrieved including data from eight RCTs. All included RCTs were at low risk for performance bias related to objective outcomes. Collectively, articles included 704 subjects. Among the 334 subjects subjected to CR, the compliance with the intervention appeared generally high. Meta-analyses proved benefit of CR on reduction of body weight, BMI, fat mass, total cholesterol, while a minor impact was shown for LDL, fasting glucose and insulin levels. No effect emerged for HDL and blood pressure after CR. Data were insufficient for other hormone variables in relation to meta-analysis of CR effects; Conclusion: CR is a nutritional pattern linked to improved cardiometabolic status. However, evidence is limited on the multidimensional aspects of health and requires more studies of high quality to identify the precise impact of CR on health status and longevity.

Compounds that extend longevity are protective in neurodegenerative diseases and provide a novel treatment strategy for these devastating disorders

2020 Jun 28

While aging is the greatest risk factor for the development of neurodegenerative disease, the role of aging in these diseases is poorly understood. In the inherited forms of these diseases, the disease-causing mutation is present from birth but symptoms appear decades later. This indicates that these mutations are well tolerated in younger individuals but not in older adults. Based on this observation, we hypothesized that changes taking place during normal aging make the cells in the brain (and elsewhere) susceptible to the disease-causing mutations. If so, then delaying some of these age-related changes may be beneficial in the treatment of neurodegenerative disease. In this review, we examine the effects of five compounds that have been shown to extend longevity (metformin, rapamycin, resveratrol, N-acetyl-l-cysteine, curcumin) in four of the most common neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). While not all investigations observe a beneficial effect of these compounds, there are multiple studies that show a protective effect of each of these lifespan-extending compounds in animal models of neurodegenerative disease. Combined with genetic studies, this suggests the possibility that targeting the aging process may be an effective strategy to treat neurodegenerative disease.

Rapamycin for longevity: opinion article

2019 Oct 4

From the dawn of civilization, humanity has dreamed of immortality. So why didn’t the discovery of the anti-aging properties of mTOR inhibitors change the world forever? I will discuss several reasons, including fear of the actual and fictional side effects of rapamycin, everolimus and other clinically-approved drugs, arguing that no real side effects preclude their use as anti-aging drugs today. Furthermore, the alternative to the reversible (and avoidable) side effects of rapamycin/everolimus are the irreversible (and inevitable) effects of aging: cancer, stroke, infarction, blindness and premature death. I will also discuss why it is more dangerous not to use anti-aging drugs than to use them and how rapamycin-based drug combinations have already been implemented for potential life extension in humans. If you read this article from the very beginning to its end, you may realize that the time is now.

Metformin and Aging: A Review

2019 Sep 13

Metformin is sometimes proposed to be an “anti-aging” drug, based on preclinical experiments with lower-order organisms and numerous retrospective data on beneficial health outcomes for type 2 diabetics. Large prospective, placebo-controlled trials are planned, in pilot stage or running, to find a new use (or indication) for an aging population. As one of the metformin trials has “frailty” as its endpoint, similar to a trial with a plant-derived senolytic, the latter class of novel anti-aging drugs is briefly discussed. Concerns exist not only for vitamin B12 and B6 deficiencies, but also about whether there are adverse effects of metformin on individuals who try to remain healthy by maintaining cardiovascular fitness via exercise.

Association between vitamin D supplementation and mortality: systematic review and meta-analysis

2019 Aug 12

Vitamin D supplementation alone was not associated with all cause mortality in adults compared with placebo or no treatment. Vitamin D supplementation reduced the risk of cancer death by 15%. Additional large clinical studies are needed to determine whether vitamin D3 supplementation is associated with lower all cause mortality.

Dietary intake and blood concentrations of antioxidants and the risk of cardiovascular disease, total cancer, and all-cause mortality: a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies

2018 Nov 23

Higher dietary intake and/or blood concentrations of vitamin C, carotenoids, and α-tocopherol (as markers of fruit and vegetable intake) were associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, total cancer, and all-cause mortality. These results support recommendations to increase fruit and vegetable intake, but not antioxidant supplement use, for chronic disease prevention.

Disease or not, aging is easily treatable

2018 Nov 17

Is aging a disease? It does not matter because aging is already treated using a combination of several clinically-available drugs, including rapamycin. Whether aging is a disease depends on arbitrary definitions of both disease and aging. For treatment purposes, aging is a deadly disease (or more generally, pre-disease), despite being a normal continuation of normal organismal growth. It must and, importantly, can be successfully treated, thereby delaying classic age-related diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, and neurodegeneration.

Prolonging healthy aging: Longevity vitamins and proteins

2018 Oct 15

It is proposed that proteins/enzymes be classified into two classes according to their essentiality for immediate survival/reproduction and their function in long-term health: that is, survival proteins versus longevity proteins. As proposed by the triage theory, a modest deficiency of one of the nutrients/cofactors triggers a built-in rationing mechanism that favors the proteins needed for immediate survival and reproduction (survival proteins) while sacrificing those needed to protect against future damage (longevity proteins). Impairment of the function of longevity proteins results in an insidious acceleration of the risk of diseases associated with aging. I also propose that nutrients required for the function of longevity proteins constitute a class of vitamins that are here named “longevity vitamins.” I suggest that many such nutrients play a dual role for both survival and longevity. The evidence for classifying taurine as a conditional vitamin, and the following 10 compounds as putative longevity vitamins, is reviewed: the fungal antioxidant ergothioneine; the bacterial metabolites pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) and queuine; and the plant antioxidant carotenoids lutein, zeaxanthin, lycopene, α- and β-carotene, β-cryptoxanthin, and the marine carotenoid astaxanthin. Because nutrient deficiencies are highly prevalent in the United States (and elsewhere), appropriate supplementation and/or an improved diet could reduce much of the consequent risk of chronic disease and premature aging.

Fisetin is a senotherapeutic that extends health and lifespan

2018 Sep 29

Senescence is a tumor suppressor mechanism activated in stressed cells to prevent replication of damaged DNA. Senescent cells have been demonstrated to play a causal role in driving aging and age-related diseases using genetic and pharmacologic approaches. We previously demonstrated that the combination of dasatinib and the flavonoid quercetin is a potent senolytic improving numerous age-related conditions including frailty, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. The goal of this study was to identify flavonoids with more potent senolytic activity.

Dietary Antioxidants, Circulating Antioxidant Concentrations, Total Antioxidant Capacity, and Risk of All-Cause Mortality: A Systematic Review and Dose-Response Meta-Analysis of Prospective Observational Studies

2018 Sep 20

The associations of various dietary or circulating antioxidants with the risk of all-cause mortality in the general population have not been established yet. A systematic search was performed in PubMed and Scopus, from their inception up to October 2017. Prospective observational studies reporting risk estimates of all-cause mortality in relation to dietary intake and/or circulating concentrations of antioxidants were included. Random-effects meta-analyses were conducted. Forty-one prospective observational studies (total n = 507,251) involving 73,965 cases of all-cause mortality were included. The RRs of all-cause mortality for the highest compared with the lowest category of circulating antioxidant concentrations were as follows: total carotenes, 0.60 (95% CI: 0.46, 0.74); vitamin C, 0.61 (95% CI: 0.53, 0.69); selenium, 0.62 (95% CI: 0.45, 0.79); β-carotene, 0.63 (95% CI: 0.57, 0.70); α-carotene, 0.68 (95% CI: 0.58, 0.78); total carotenoids, 0.68 (95% CI: 0.56, 0.80); lycopene, 0.75 (95% CI: 0.54, 0.97); and α-tocopherol, 0.84 (95% CI: 0.77, 0.91). The RRs for dietary intakes were: total carotenoids, 0.76 (95% CI: 0.66, 0.85); total antioxidant capacity, 0.77 (95% CI: 0.73, 0.81); selenium, 0.79 (95% CI: 0.73, 0.85); α-carotene, 0.79 (95% CI: 0.63, 0.94); β-carotene, 0.82 (95% CI: 0.77, 0.86); vitamin C, 0.88 (95% CI: 0.83, 0.94); and total carotenes, 0.89 (95% CI: 0.81, 0.97). A nonsignificant inverse association was found for dietary zinc, zeaxanthin, lutein, and vitamin E. The nonlinear dose-response meta-analyses demonstrated a linear inverse association in the analyses of dietary β-carotene and total antioxidant capacity, as well as in the analyses of circulating α-carotene, β-carotene, selenium, vitamin C, and total carotenoids. The association appeared to be U-shaped in the analyses of serum lycopene and dietary vitamin C. The present study indicates that adherence to a diet with high antioxidant properties may reduce the risk of all-cause mortality. Our results confirm current recommendations that promote higher intake of antioxidant-rich foods such as fruit and vegetables.

Association of loneliness with all-cause mortality: A meta-analysis

2018 Sep 20

Loneliness shows a harmful effect for all-cause mortality and this effect is slightly stronger in men than in women. Moreover, the impact of loneliness was independent from the quality evaluation of each article and the effect of depression.

Change in the Rate of Biological Aging in Response to Caloric Restriction: CALERIE Biobank Analysis

2017 Apr 20

Biological aging measures have been proposed as proxies for extension of healthy life span in trials of geroprotective therapies that aim to slow aging. Several methods to measure biological aging show promise but it is not known if these methods are sensitive to changes caused by geroprotective therapy. We conducted analysis of two proposed methods to quantify biological aging using data from a recently concluded trial of an established geroprotector, caloric restriction. We obtained data from the National Institute on Aging CALERIE randomized trial through its public-access biobank ( The CALERIE trial randomized N = 220 nonobese adults to 25% caloric restriction (n = 145; 11.7% caloric restriction was achieved, on average) or to maintain current diet (n = 75) for 2 years. We analyzed biomarker data collected at baseline, 12-, and 24-month follow-up assessments. We applied published biomarker algorithms to these data to calculate two biological age measures, Klemera–Doubal Method Biological Age and homeostatic dysregulation. Intent-to-treat analysis using mixed-effects growth models of within-person change over time tested if caloric restriction slowed increase in measures of biological aging across follow-up. Analyses of both measures indicated caloric restriction slowed biological aging. Weight loss did not account for the observed effects. Results suggest future directions for testing of geroprotective therapies in humans.

Health effects of intermittent fasting: hormesis or harm? A systematic review

2015 Jul 01

Clinical research studies of fasting with robust designs and high levels of clinical evidence are sparse in the literature. Whereas the few randomized controlled trials and observational clinical outcomes studies support the existence of a health benefit from fasting, substantial further research in humans is needed before the use of fasting as a health intervention can be recommended.


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