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Wellness Foods + Supplements 3/2021

Wellness Foods & Supplements is the first European magazine devoted exclusively to health ingredients, nutraceutical foods and beverages. Questions about the trade magazine Wellness Foods & Supplements? Interested in subscribing or advertising? The board of editors at Wellness Foods & Supplements kindly remains at your disposal.

Healthy ageing and

Healthy ageing and mental well-being Photo © : Anklam Extrakt GmbH Plant-based extracts to support healthy ageing and mental well-being Annette Masuch, Ph.D. An apple a day… Since ancient times, people are longing for the gift of eternal youth. This is manifested for instance in the motif of the fountain of youth in diverse myths, legends and fairy tales. A bath in it or drinking its water is said to wash away the ailments of old age. Remarkably, in Norse mythology eternal youth is based on a special food: the golden apples of Idun. The Aesir need to eat these apples regularly to keep their youth until Ragnarok comes – according to the legend. Interestingly, today it is evident that indeed our diet plays a pivotal role for healthy ageing [1]. Though the number and proportion of elder people is steadily increasing, the presence of the “senescent phenotype” is rather new considering that at most times and places human life was not much longer than 40 years due to adverse living conditions. However, in 2020, one billion people were 60 years and older, already outnumbering children younger than 5 years [2]. Ongoing improvement of healthcare, living standards and increasing knowledge about the impact of individual behaviour like physical activity and adequate nutrition positively affect the life expectancy. Moreover, in addition to the prolonged lifetime itself, the actual quality of life in the elderly is increasingly coming into focus. The process of ageing – behind the scenes From the scientific point of view, ageing is the decrease of functional and vital cells as a consequence of the accumulation of a variety of cellular and molecular damage over time. Several candidate theories have been proposed to understand and decipher the overall process of ageing. Among others, oxidative damage related to the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and mitochondrial dysfunction is believed to contribute to the build-up of intracellular damage associated with increased age. ROS may oxidise and damage cell membranes, proteins and DNA. Mitochondria constitute the energy building facilities within mammalian cells. Notably, their own DNA is much more susceptible to mutations over time compared to nuclear DNA. Consequently, mitochondrial dysfunction (e. g. in the respira tory chain) and defective energy production are thought to increase ROS production contributing to cellular damage [3,4]. Similarly, cellular senescence meaning arrested proliferative capacity of cells due to short dysfunctional telomeres is related to aged and diseased tissues. Telomeres are repeated DNA sequences located at the end of chromosomes. During cell 10 No. 3 November/December 2021

Healthy ageing and mental well-being division, the chromosomes are duplicated but not the tandem repeat structures of the telo meres – at least not entirely: Telomeres instead even lose some parts during each cell cycle and are specifically susceptible to oxidative damage. When telomeres are shortened to a critical length, they trigger a persistent DNA-damage response and the cell cycle will arrest. The cell may now either enter the programmed cell death or senescence [5]. Accumulating senescent cells appear to limit tissue regeneration and promote chronic inflammation. The term “inflammaging” refers to the observation of a chronic low-grade pro-inflammatory phenotype in aged individuals. It is associated with an impaired innate and adaptive immune response incapable to fight infections effectively [6]. These intracellular ageing processes are even accelerated by exogenous factors inducing oxidative stress like cigarette smoking, high fat diets, medication, UV light and other environmental or lifestyle factors. … and what’s the good news? The organism itself possesses the capacity to fight oxidative stress mediated by ROS with antioxidants [7]. In this respect, our diet exerts a decisive influence. Micronutrient and bioactive compound supply via fruit or vegetable consumption are often sub-optimal in elderly, however, which may be overcome by dietary supplementation [1]. Plant-based diets deliver a plethora of secondary plant metabolites that may positively influence health. Among them, the class of polyphenols are recognised as powerful antioxidants and rendered as main reason for the health benefits from consumption of fruits and vegetables. One subclass of polyphenols, the anthocyanins, are described as potent free radical scavengers [8]. Thus, in terms of antioxidant capacity, botanicals containing anthocyanins constitute a food source with high potential to support healthy ageing. In this context, an evergreen bush of the species Aristotelia chilensis (Mol.) Stuntz, native to the wild forest of Patagonia in Argentina and Chile is of special interest. Its Photo © : Shutterstock/Fancy Tapis, adapted by Anklam Extrakt GmbH fruit, the maqui berry, has turned out to be a real super fruit: it is considered one of the richest natural sources of anthocyanins. Especially delphinidins as a subclass of anthocyanins possess highest free radical scavenging potency and are contained in considerable and dietary relevant quantities in maqui berries [8]. To make use of this specific power, Anklam Extrakt GmbH has developed an enriched and standardised maqui berry extract (MBE) containing at least 35 % anthocyanins and 25 % delphinidins: Delphinol ® . Indeed, Delphinol ® is well known for its capability to neutralize free radical oxygen species [9]. As outlined above, shortened telomeres and reduced proliferative capacity are cellular hallmarks of ageing. Using primary cultures of human fibroblast cells the effect of MBE on cellular proliferation was examined. To induce oxidative stress, fibroblast cells were treated with H 2 O 2 , which impairs cellular pro liferation. Treatment with Delphinol ® antagonised this oxidative stress effect. Moreover, investigating various characteristics of the telomeres under oxidative stress conditions, e. g. median telomere length, 20 th percentile telomere length, and percentage of short telomeres with < 3 kbp, clearly demonstrated that MBE attenu ated the H 2 O 2 -induced telomere shortening rate. These findings implicate that MBE may compensate the oxidative stress evoked by H 2 O 2 and positively influence the telomere shortening rate (unpublished data). Delphinol ® helps to maintain the health of skin and bones For each of us, rather obvious signs of ageing refer to the external appearance. Especially the visible parts of the skin like face and hands even more rapidly accumulate changes in structure and function as photo-ageing due to frequent exposure to UV irradiation accompanies the chronological ageing [10,11]. Typically, ageing associates with reduced number of vessels, structural changes in vessel properties and reduced density of lymphatic vessels in the human skin. Such vascular changes result in easy bruising and reduced nutrient supply. Fragmentation of the dermal collagenous matrix of the skin promotes wrinkle formation. Pigmentation of the skin may become uneven with age with so-called age spots [10]. As expected, generation of ROS plays also a central role in the structural alterations of the skin in both photo-ageing as well as chronological ageing [11]. In line with its strong antioxidant capacity, Delphinol ® has been reported to improve skin vitality. In a randomised double-blind placebo- No. 3 November/December 2021 11

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