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Acai Berry Increases Fruit fly Lifespan

Posted Sep 28 2012 10:09pm
Posted on Sept. 27, 2012, 6 a.m. in Longevity Functional Foods

Results of a study by scientists at Emory School of Medicine have revealed that a commercially available acai berry product can significantly lengthen the lifespan of fruit flies. Postdoctoral fellow Alysia Vrailas-Mortimer, and colleagues studied the effect of the acai berry product on fruit flies with mutations in the p38 MAP kinase gene, which have shorter lives than normal fruit flies and are more sensitive to heat, food deprivation, and oxidative stress. Study results showed that P38 mutant flies lived an average of only 8 days when fed a simple sugar water diet. However, when their diet was supplemented with acai berry their average lifespan tripled. Acai also increased the lifespan of normal fruit flies, with the lifespan of male fruit flies almost doubling with acai (20 to 40 days). However, the effects on female flies were not as impressive, with average lifespan increasing from 30 to 34 days. Acai also protected normal fruit flies against oxidative stress, induced by exposure to hydrogen peroxide and the herbicide paraquat. Acai berries contain a variety of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds, such as anthocyanins.

Vrailas-Mortimer A, Gomez R, Dowse H, Sanyal S. A survey of the protective effects of some commercially available antioxidant supplements in genetically and chemically induced models of oxidative stress in Drosophila melanogaster. Exp Gerontol. 2012;47:712-722.

  
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Anti-Aging Therapeutics 13   View the Table of Contents
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44. Spice Up for a Long Life
For years, scientists have been tapping our kitchens for creative ways to ward off disease and discomfort. Capsaicin, the main chemical in chili pepper, is used in topical creams to provide relief from arthritis. Alllicin, the main ingredient in garlic, can, when consumed in large quantities, reduce cholesterol and blood pressure.
  Curcumin, the spice that gives tumeric its yellow color, has made it out of the kitchen pantry and into the vitamin cabinet:
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