Effective Geroprotectors for the Brain - Rejuvenation Therapeutics

Effective Geroprotectors for the Brain

Effective Geroprotectors rejuvenation aging

Aging is a natural biological phenomenon. A progressive decline in the normal functioning of our multiple cells and tissues collectively leads to the aging of our bodies. Aging brings a series of health concerns and fears. In the current times of a stressful and hectic lifestyle, many people are afraid to face age-related decline.1

Geroprotectors are novel compounds that slow the rate of biological aging and reduce the occurrence of age-related disorders.2 Geroprotectors mainly target one of the pathways involved in the process of aging. Currently, more than 200 geroprotectors have been discovered that can slow down aging and increase lifespan.3 One of the most worrisome problems observed during the process of aging is the development of age-associated brain diseases. Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease are just two of the most well known age-associated brain diseases.4

Geroprotectors have been classified in various ways based on different criteria:

  • Based on the effect of geroprotectors on the survival of a group of individuals. According to this classification, geroprotectors are divided based on their means of increasing life expectancy of a population. This classification divides geroprotectors into three groups, namely: geroprotectors that increase the life expectancy of all members of the population; geroprotectors that reduce the rate of extinction of long-lived subjects; and geroprotectors that increase the life expectancy of the short-lived subpopulation.5

  • Based on the mechanism of action. According to this classification, geroprotectors were divided into two groups based on their mechanism of action: geroprotectors that help prevent accidental damage to macromolecules (such as proteins, carbohydrates, etc.) and geroprotectors that help slow down the genetic program of aging, thus eventually slowing down the generation of age-related pathologies.6

  • Based on the ability of geroprotectors to maintain homeostasis. The purpose of homeostasis is to maintain a normal healthy balance within the body. Aging can lead to disturbances of homeostasis, causing acid-based imbalance in the body and eventually leading to age-related pathologies. According to this classification, geroprotectors were divided into three groups, namely: geroprotectors that cause neutralization of damaging agents that cause disruption of homeostasis; geroprotectors that enhance homeostasis; and lastly, geroprotectors that suppress hyperfunction of some homeostatic reactions that can lead to additional loss of homeostasis.5

A report published in 2018 in Trends in Pharmacological Sciences suggests that with proper selection criteria, geroprotectors can be identified as geroneuroprotectors (GNPs) if they pass the blood-brain barrier and protect the brain from age-related pathologies. According to this study, in order for a geroprotector to be identified as a GNP, it should be able to protect the brain from toxicities, it should exhibit therapeutic effects in many neurodegenerative diseases and finally, it must have the ability to slow down age-associated physiological and molecular changes.2

Here is a list of five natural geroprotectors that have been shown to have beneficial effects on neurological functions:

  1. Fisetin

    Fisetin, a novel flavonoid that can be found in small amounts in strawberries, apples, and persimmons, plays an important role in neuroprotection. According to a study published in Frontiers in Bioscience in 2017, fisetin exhibits antioxidant activity and also helps increase intracellular glutathione (an antioxidant) levels. Neurotrophic factors play a vital role in functional maintenance of nerve cells, and low levels of these factors can lead to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Fisetin helps activate neurotrophic signaling pathways in the brain and thus enhances cognition and memory formation.7

  2. Curcumin

    A polyphenol responsible for imparting the bright yellow color of turmeric, curcumin plays an important role in various metabolic reactions. It has also been studied for its activity against neurodegenerative diseases. Accumulation of misfolded amyloid proteins is one of the main causes for neurodegeneration and cognitive impairment, thus giving rise to neurodegenerative diseases. In 2015, it was reported that curcumin exhibits significant inhibitory effects on misfolded protein aggregation. Plus its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, together position curcumin as a promising natural polyphenol to help fight several neurodegenerative diseases.8

  3. Epigallocatechin Gallate

    Green tea, one of the most widely consumed beverages, contains an important constituent called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). According to a study published in Nutrition Journal in 2015, EGCG exhibits good antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties by invoking a range of cellular mechanisms including activation and inhibition of signalling pathways. It exhibits metal chelation properties and can also modulate cell survival genes. These properties together make up for the neuroprotective effects of EGCG.9

  4. Vitamin B3

    Vitamin B3, also known as niacin, plays an important role in many metabolic reactions of the body. Niacin has two vitamers known as nicotinamide and nicotinic acid, which are, in fact, precursors of two biologically active coenzymes that participate in various energy production reactions at the cellular level. Sources of niacin mainly include cereal grains, meat, and fish. Vitamin B3 plays an essential role in maintaining neuronal health. As several molecular mechanisms are influenced by vitamin B3, optimal levels of niacin are needed to help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress. It is important to maintain optimal levels of niacin because its deficiency has been recognized as a pathogenic factor for neurological problems.10

  5. Vitamin D

    Vitamin D, obtained mostly through sunlight, has been researched extensively for years. Apart from its benefits for bone health and calcium balance, vitamin D is also being researched for its benefits in cardiovascular and neurodegenerative conditions. According to a study published in Epma Journal in 2017, deficiency of vitamin D, which is commonly observed due to less exposure to sunlight, can increase the risk of development of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. In the case of vitamin D deficiency (which can be easily checked with a blood test), it’s recommended to take a supplement to reach sufficient levels (at least 30 ng/ml).11

 

References

  1. Annu Rev Physiol. 2013 Feb 10;75:685-705.
  2. Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2018 Dec 1;39(12):1004-7.
  3. Aging (Albany NY). 2015 Sep;7(9):616.
  4. Ageing Res Rev. 2019 Jan 1;49:11-26.
  5. Aging Dis. 2017 May;8(3):354.
  6. Exp Gerontol. 2001 Jul 1;36(7):1101-36.
  7. Front Biosci (Schol Ed). 2015 Jun 1;7:58.
  8. MOJ Anat Physiol. 2015;1(5):127-132.
  9. Nutr J. 2016 Jun 7;15(1):60.
  10. Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Feb 23;20(4):974.
  11. Epma Journal. 2017 Dec 1;8(4):313-25.