Dietary restriction (DR) extends lifespan across multiple species including mouse. Antioxidant plant extracts rich in polyphenols have also been shown to increase lifespan. We hypothesized that polyphenols might potentiate DR-induced lifespan extension. Twenty week old C57BL/6 mice were placed on one of three diets: continuous feeding (control), alternate day chow (Intermittent fed, IF), or IF supplemented with polyphenol antioxidants (PAO) from blueberry, pomegranate, and green tea extracts (IF+PAO). Both IF and IF+PAO groups outlived the control group and the IF+PAO group outlived the IF group (all p<0.001). In the brain, IF induced the expression of inflammatory genes and p38 MAPK phosphorylation, while the addition of PAO reduced brain inflammatory gene expression and p38 MAPK phosphorylation. Our data indicate that while IF overall promotes longevity, some aspects of IF-induced stress may paradoxically lessen this effect. Polyphenol compounds, in turn, may potentiate IF-induced longevity by minimizing specific components of IF-induced cell stress.
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