The life-extending effects of apples and berries reinforce each other
Apples (preferably with skin) and berries are healthy. And this is especially true for their combination, Chinese researchers discovered.
In 2020, nutritional scientists at South China University of Technology published a study in Food & Function, in which they exposed the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans to apple peel extracts, blueberry extracts and a combination of these two.
Previous studies had already shown that bioactive substances in both apples and berries can extend the life of this nematode.
Both apple peel extracts and blueberry extracts prolonged the life of the worms. The more extract the researchers put into the nematodes' soil, the stronger the effect. Even stronger was the life-extending effect of a combination of both extracts. This combination extended the lifespan of the animals by 31.4 percent.
The figure above has been reduced. Click on it for a larger version. You look at the effect of exposure to the extracts on the mobility of the nematodes as they age. Mobility of nematodes says something about their vitality.
In short, the figure shows that the combination of apple peel extract and berry extract not only increased Caenorhabditis elegans' life span, but also its health span.
The researchers repeated their experiments, but then exposed the nematodes to stressors such as UV radiation and high temperatures. The extracts also extended life span of the worms under those conditions.
The researchers found that apple peel extract and berry extract increased the activity of two important genes: daf-16 and sir-2.1. Humans have these genes, in a slightly modified form, too. In human cells they code for the proteins AMPK and SIRT1.
Food Funct. 2020 Jul 22;11(7):6170-85.
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