A botanical containing freeze dried açai pulp promotes healthy aging and reduces oxidative damage in sod1 knockdown flies

Age (Dordr). 2013 Aug;35(4):1117-32. doi: 10.1007/s11357-012-9437-3. Epub 2012 May 26.


Superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1), a critical enzyme against oxidative stress, is implicated in aging and degenerative diseases. We previously showed that a nutraceutical containing freeze-dried açai pulp promotes survival of flies fed a high-fat diet or sod1 knockdown flies fed a standard diet. Here, we investigated the effect of açai supplementation initiated at the early or late young adulthood on lifespan, physiological function, and oxidative damage in sod1 knockdown flies. We found that Açai supplementation extended lifespan even when started at the age of 10 days, which is the time shortly before the mortality rate of flies accelerated. Life-long açai supplementation increased lifetime reproductive output in sod1 knockdown flies. Our molecular studies indicate that açai supplementation reduced the protein levels of genes involved in oxidative stress response, cellular growth, and nutrient metabolism. Açai supplementation also affected the protein levels of ribosomal proteins. In addition, açai supplementation decreased the transcript levels of genes involved in oxidative stress response and gluconeogenesis, while increasing the transcript levels of mitochondrial biogenesis genes. Moreover, açai supplementation reduced the level of 4-hydroxynonenal-protein adducts, a lipid peroxidation marker. Our findings suggest that açai supplementation promotes healthy aging in sod1-deficient flies partly through reducing oxidative damage, and modulating nutrient metabolism and oxidative stress response pathways. Our findings provide a foundation to further evaluate the viability of using açai as an effective dietary intervention to promote healthy aging and alleviate symptoms of diseases with a high level of oxidative stress.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Arecaceae*
  • Diet
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / enzymology
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Freeze Drying
  • Fruit*
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Superoxide Dismutase / genetics
  • Superoxide Dismutase-1


  • Plant Extracts
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Superoxide Dismutase-1