Polyphenols and Aging
Brannon L. Queen and Trygve O. Tollefsbol
Affiliation: Department of Biology, 175 Campbell Hall, 1300 University Boulevard, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA.
Age-associated changes within an individual are inherently complex and occur at multiple levels of organismal function. The overall decline in function of various tissues is known to play a key role in both aging and the complex etiology of certain age-associated diseases such as Alzheimers disease (AD) and cancer. Continuing research highlights the dynamic capacity of polyphenols to protect against age-associated disorders through a variety of important mechanisms. Numerous lines of evidence suggest that dietary polyphenols such as resveratrol, (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), and curcumin have the capacity to mitigate age-associated cellular damage induced via metabolic production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). However, recently acquired evidence also demonstrates a likely role for these polyphenols as anticancer agents capable of preventing formation of new vasculature in neoplastic tissues. Polyphenols have also been shown to possess other anticancer properties such as specific cell-signaling actions that may stimulate the activity of the regulatory protein SIRT1. Additionally, polyphenolic compounds have demonstrated their inhibitory effects against chronic vascular inflammation associated with atherosclerosis. These increasingly well-documented results have begun to provide a basis for considering the use of polyphenols in the development of novel therapies for certain human diseases. And while the mechanisms by which these effects occur are yet to be fully understood, it is evident that further investigation may yield a potential use for polyphenols as pharmacological interventions against specific age-associated diseases.
Keywords: Polyphenols, aging, SIRT1, angiogenesis, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, neuroprotection
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