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"An apple a day keeps the doctor away" is a familiar health proverb. But the best way to eat apples is to take the skin with them. According to the latest issue of ‘Nature Medicine’, American researchers have found that the combination of dasatinib (a leukemia drug) and quercetin, an extract from apple skin, can prolong the life span of old mice by 36%.
Aging cells usually appear in people in their 60s, but earlier in obese people or chronic disease patients. These abnormal cells are in a state of decline, but they are unwilling to die. Some people believe that aging cells themselves catalyze the aging process.
The research team led by James Kirkland of the Mayo Clinic in the United States has shown that this is true. When the researchers injected a small amount of senescent cells into 6 - month - old mice, their speed, endurance and strength decreased by 20% to 50% in a few weeks, almost the level of a typical 2 year old mouse.
To block the effects of aging cells, the team chose the combination of dasatinib and quercetin, which both interfere with the way senescent cells avoid death. When the research team gave the combination of drugs to young rats aged by aging cells, the mice lost their physical ability to recover from 50% to 100% within two weeks.
When the team gave the drugs to old mice aged between 24 and 27 months, the speed, endurance, and strength of the mice increased by 30% to 100%, and their remaining life expectancy was 36% longer than those of the old mice.
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