Ginseng may slow markers of ageing in mice, study finds

By Olivia Brown

- Last updated on GMT

Ginseng roots and capsules © beemore / Getty Images
Ginseng roots and capsules © beemore / Getty Images

Related tags Ginseng Healthy ageing

Ginseng Oligopeptides (GOP) may delay oxidative stress-induced senescence in the DNA of mouse embryos, a new experimental study finds.

“These findings lend support to the hypothesis that GOPs may have a positive influence on extending lifespan and health span via combating cellular senescence, oxidative stress, and inflammation, and protecting mitochondria,” ​wrote scientists from Peking University in Nutrients​.

Senescence

The researchers focused on the potential impact of GOPs on senescent cells.

One significant mechanism of aging is the accumulation of senescent cells, which can be characterized as a steady arrest of the cell cycle caused by telomere shortening​.

“There are other aging-associated incitants, such as oxidative stress, ionizing radiation, and nutritional imbalance, trigger senescence independently of the telomeric process, which is known as premature senescence. Among the contributing factors, ROS-induced oxidative stress is one of the most important. Thus, to replicate naturally senescent cells, the oxidative-induced premature senescence model is frequently employed in scientific research, including the current study.”, ​the researchers explained.

Thereby, the present study sought to investigate this potential relationship, by studying chemically induced cellular senescence and the effects of GOPs on this process in mouse embryonic fibroblasts.

Results

Cellular senescence is linked to the ageing process because the cells stop multiplying but do not die. Instead, the cells remain and release chemicals that can trigger inflammation. The researchers created senescence by exposing the fibroblasts to hydrogen peroxide, and then exposed those cells to a growth medium with or without GOPs.

The researchers state that GOPs were able to delay this senescence via actions on multiple different pathways.

Further study revealed that these effects may result from the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory power of the GOPs.

With regards to longevity, it was observed that GOP supplementation significantly improved mitochondrial function and biogenesis via the NAD+/SIRT1/PGC-1 pathway.

Whilst the findings cannot be representative to a human population, they open up an interesting area of potential future utilising in vivo studies into GOPs.

Protein and ageing

Scientists have suggested that diets deficient in essential amino acids can result in protein catabolism, with animal studies indicating resultant significantly shorter survival times. Therefore, it has been recommended that those of middle age and above should increase their daily protein intake above the average suggested amounts.

Ginseng has a long history as a traditional Chinese medicinal herb, touted a remedy for longevity and commonly used for body-strengthening in Asia. As a result of the presence of amino acids and functional bioactives such as ginsenosides, phenols and phytosterols, studies have suggested its abilities in combatting fatigue, hyperglycaemia and obesity, as well as its potential antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

Source: Nutrients
https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14245289
“Bioactive Oligopeptides from Ginseng (Panax ginseng Meyer) Suppress Oxidative Stress-Induced Senescence in Fibroblasts via NAD+/SIRT1/PGC-1α Signalling Pathway”
Authors: ​Na Zhu, et al.

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