How to live longer: The cancer-fighting fruit that may ‘extend lifespan’ by 28%
Centenarian reveals SURPRISE drink that helps her live longer
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Longevity research suggests dietary patterns may confer strong protection against disease and signs of ageing. But there is overwhelming evidence that berries could be the antidotes to ageing and disease. One berry, in particular, is often hailed as an antioxidant powerhouse due to its inimitable health properties.
The benefits of berries for our health are well known, with recent studies confirming their protective effects against cognitive decline, DNA damage, cancer and metabolic syndrome.
Most of the fruit’s benefits are attributable to its anthocyanin concentrations, which offer strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
These molecules flaunt memory-boosting and brain-protecting qualities in equal measure, but according to some studies, they may have unparalleled benefits for longevity too.
In one laboratory study published in the journal Ageing Cell, in 2006, researchers suggested blueberries could increase mean lifespan by up to 28 percent in animals.
READ MORE: How to live longer: The nutrient-dense drink to make at home that counters signs of ageing
“Adult wild-type animals grown under our standard laboratory conditions at 25C have a mean lifespan of 12.7 days and an average lifespan of 19.7 days,” wrote the researchers.
“On media containing either crude BB extract [Blueberry extract] […] mean lifespan of wild-type animals was lengthened by 28 percent.”
The study was later scientifically reviewed by the website Life Extension, which explained that these life-prolonging effects would equate to 22 years in humans.
But there is also increased interest in the role consumption of berries could have for inhibiting cancer cells and warding off illness.
While some cancer is genetic and can’t be avoided, others could be dodged with the help of thorough lifestyle modifications.
There are countless studies exploring the cancer-fighting effects of blueberries on mice, but evidence of these effects in humans is limited because studies are mostly observational, meaning they are unable to determine cause and effect.
In one study exploring the effects of dietary freeze-dried berries on rodents, researchers observed inhibition of oesophagus cancer cells of between 30-60 percent and of the colon by up to 80 percent.
Colon cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, is one of the most common cancers in both men and women.
Although most berries are beneficial for cancer, blueberries, in particular, may contain chemicals that may help prevent this specific form of cancer, according to researchers.
These results were confirmed in a study by Rutgers University and the US Department of Agriculture, which specifically highlighted the cancer-fighting properties of blueberries on rats.
This time researchers observed a 57 percent drop in cancerous lesions in the rodent after they were fed pterostilbene, a potent antioxidant found in blueberries.
The lead author of the study, Bandaru Reddy, professor in the Department of Chemical Biology at Rutgers, said: “This study underscored the need to include more berries in the diet, especially blueberries.”
What researchers highlighted about pterostilbene was its potential for fewer side effects than other commercial drugs typically used to treat cancer.
The antioxidant may also help protect the skin from the damage of free radicals, helping lower the chances of premature ageing.
Antioxidants defend the skin and help it maintain its healthy structure by scavenging ‘free radicals’ in the connective tissues.
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