It seems that not only broccoli is good for your health it also includes a natural compound that can potentially reverse the effects of ageing in human beings. A team of US researchers claim to have found a naturally existing compound in broccoli, cucumbers and avocados that was able to show significant anti-ageing results in mice. The researchers believe that the same effect can also work on humans. The current study has been published in the journal Cell Metabolism.
After conducting their research on mice, the team moved on to conducting clinical trials on a small number of human participants. According to the researchers, older mice that were given NMN in their water supply exhibited a wide range of positive effects. The mice showed an increase in their overall physical activity, along with improvements in their muscle and bone density. Their immune system as well as their liver also started to work better. Furthermore, the mice lost weight and their eyesight also improved.
The team of researchers focused on determining the properties found in the NAD protein. The said protein plays a role in the production of energy inside the body. The level of NAD reduces with the increase in an animal’s age. It is believed that this is due to the process of ageing. The researchers tried to provide extra NAD to the mice but their attempts failed. So, they turned their attention to increasing the production of the protein inside the body. The researchers gave mice NMN via drinking water. NMN is found in cabbages and edamame.
According to Professor Shin-ichiro Imai, the lead researcher of the current study, NMN showed significant anti-ageing effects in mice that were being experimented upon. However, the team is unsure if the effect can continue and lead to a longer lifespan for the mice as well.
The results of the study showed that ageing could be slowed down. The metabolism and energy levels in older mice, taking NMN, were seen to be similar to the levels observed in younger mice.
Professor Imai added that the team is optimistic about observing the same effects in human beings as well. This is because human beings are also dependent on the same process of energy production. If the research proves to hold merit then it can allow people to remain healthy as their age increases.
While the current study does seem to hold promise, there is a slight concern. A boost in NAD production could give rise to cancerous cells. Professor Imai is well aware of such a risk. He explained that the team knew about possibly increasing the incidence of cancer due to giving NMN to the mice. But no such occurrence, with regards to differences in the rate of cancer, was present in the mice that were part of the current research.
According to Professor Jun Yoshino, the results from the study showed that only older mice experienced the anti-ageing effects of NMN. Young mice didn’t become healthier even when they were given NMN. This is due to the fact that NMN is already being produced at quite sufficient levels by the young mice. The researchers believe that inflammation, due to ageing, plays a role in NMN production inside the body and thus, leads to lower levels of NAD.
While a high-grade NMN meant to be consumed by human beings isn’t currently available, they can always get it from eating broccoli and other foods that contain NMN.