Ageing is one of those things that is inevitable, like death or taxes or The Bachelor. No matter who we are, no matter what we do, we’re all getting older, one day at a time.
Or…are we? Researchers from the University of Minnesota have published research suggesting it might be possible to slow the ageing process, extend lifespan and improve health, by the use of a naturally-occurring chemical called Fisetin.
The research focused on a process called cellular senescence, which occurs when cells in the body reach a certain level of damage. Senescent cells release inflammatory factors that signal the immune system to clear the damaged cells, but as a body ages it becomes less able to clear them effectively, causing tissues to degrade.
Fisetin, the scientists discovered, reduces the level of damaged cells in the body. When treated with Fisetin, aged mice displayed significant improvements in health and lifespan. Fisetin is found in fruits and vegetables such as apples, strawberries, cucumbers and onions – this doesn’t mean you can stop ageing by eating onions though, you still need a scientist.
The discovery doesn’t mean we can all live forever…yet. There’s a long way to go in figuring out just how to apply the age-slowing technology – we’re still at the elderly-mouse stage of the journey. But it’s an exciting development that reaffirms our faith in science to make us all better-looking for longer.