Lifespan extension by nutritional interventions in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster

Population aging has become one of the greatest worldwide challenges. Dietary restriction is believed to have anti-aging and lifespan extension effects for a large range of organisms ranging from yeast to humans. Unfortunately, this strategy also has some negative effects, such as low fecundity, slowing development and mental problems. In this study, Saccorhiza polyschides extracts were utilized as a diet supplement to treat the model organism Drosophila melanogaster. The influences of this algae extract on fly’s lifespan, fecundity, circadian rhythm, metabolism and metabolic genes transcription was analyzed. By comparing these parameters of Saccorhiza polyschides extracts with those of dietary restriction, the potential of this algae extract to be utilized as a kind of anti-age diet supplement was evaluated. Saccorhiza polyschides extract induced flies' lifespan extensions. Unlike DR, this algae extract did not limit fecundity of flies. Moreover, this algae extract strengthened the fly’s stress resistance. The result of physiological parameters measurement and genetic research showed this algae extract only mildly influences physiological parameters, as well as most of the selected target genes, which means it appears to be safe. In sum, Saccorhiza polyschides extract has the potential to be used as food supplement.


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