The human body has a very efficient system of clearing out aging or damaged cells. This process is called apoptosis or “cell death.” As people get older this system is less efficient and, these damaged, inactive (senescent) cells hang around but refuse to die. Instead, they increase inflammation while also releasing cell-damaging molecules. Just like zombies from the movies and comic books, these “zombie-like cells” damage surrounding cells creating more zombie-like cells. Science has found that these zombie-like cells are responsible for aging and chronic disease.
Senescent zombie-like cells have been found inside of artery clogging lesions, osteoarthritic joints and are also indicated in other diseases of aging such as macular degeneration and type 2 diabetes. Researchers have found that clearing out senescent cells in the brain restored previously impaired cognitive function and reduced tangles found in Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease. Senescent cartilage cells have been found in osteoarthritic joints but not in healthy ones.
Senolytics are molecules that encourage the death of zombie-like senescent cells. Researchers have found several flavonoids, the colored molecules in food, that support the process:
- Quercetin, a flavonoid found in many foods including berries, red wine and green tea, promotes healthy immune function, supports cardiovascular health and encourages the death of senescent cells.
- Fisetin is a powerful senolytic that targets non-functioning cells.
- Urolithin A is a molecule produced by gut bacteria from a variety of foods including strawberries and pomegranate. This molecule encourages mitophagy, the destruction and recycling of aged and non-functioning mitochondria, the “powerhouse of the cell,” which encourages the production of new mitochondria resulting in greater energy, slower aging, and increased endurance.
- Black tea contains theaflavins that target senescent cells.
- Apigenin helps to discourage any remaining senescent cells from releasing damaging agents that attack surrounding cells.
*These statements have not been approved by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.