Looks like scientists have just discovered another reason why you should eat your veggies, after finding the natural compound (NMN) in cucumber, avocado, cabbage and broccoli to have “remarkable” effects on elderly mice.
Benefits from mice exposed to the compound includes: increased level physical activity, bone, muscle and eye-sight improvements, weight loss and a better liver and immune system performance.
Lead researcher Professor Shin-ichiro Imai, of Washington University in St Louis, Missouri reports,
“We have shown a way to slow the physiologic decline that we see in ageing mice. This means older mice have metabolism and energy levels resembling that of younger ones.”
The discovery was found after investigating NAD, a protein involved in the energy production process which declines with age. After finding that simply providing more NAD didn’t work scientists looked for other ways to stimulate the protein’s production and looks like NMN is the key, at least with mice anyway.
Clinical trials on humans have began after the discovery with hopes for a similar result, as the energy production process is the same in humans.
However there are worries NAD could energise cancer cells, despite nothing being found in the study. Imai explains,
“Some tumour cells are known to have a higher capability to synthesise NAD, so we were concerned that giving NMN might increase cancer incidence… but we have not seen any differences in cancer rates between the groups of mice.”
The study also reported that this only aids older mice, as benefits were not seen in younger mice who were supplemented NMN.
The study is very encouraging and looks like there may be potential for a new way to treat the symptoms of ageing in the imminent future. Let’s hope the human trials are just as fruitful.