Nordihydroguaiaretic Acid Extends the Lifespan of Drosophila and Mice, Increases Mortality-Related Tumors and Hemorrhagic Diathesis, and Alters Energy Homeostasis in Mice

J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2015 Dec;70(12):1479-89. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glu190. Epub 2014 Nov 7.


Mesonordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA) extends murine lifespan. The studies reported here describe its dose dependence, effects on body weight, toxicity-related clinical chemistries, and mortality-related pathologies. In flies, we characterized its effects on lifespan, food consumption, body weight, and locomotion. B6C3F1 mice were fed AIN-93M diet supplemented with 1.5, 2.5, 3.5, or 4.5 g NDGA/kg diet (1.59, 2.65, 3.71 and 4.77 mg/kg body weight/day) beginning at 12 months of age. Only the 3.5 mg/kg diet produced a highly significant increase in lifespan, as judged by either the Mantel-Cox log-rank test (p = .008) or the Gehan-Breslow-Wilcoxon test (p = .009). NDGA did not alter food intake, but dose-responsively reduced weight, suggesting it decreased the absorption or increased the utilization of calories. NDGA significantly increased the incidence of liver, lung, and thymus tumors, and peritoneal hemorrhagic diathesis found at necropsy. However, clinical chemistries found little evidence for overt toxicity. While NDGA was not overtly toxic at its therapeutic dosage, its association with severe end of life pathologies does not support the idea that NDGA consumption will increase human lifespan or health-span. The less toxic derivatives of NDGA which are under development should be explored as anti-aging therapeutics.

Keywords: Dose; Lifespan; Longevity; NDGA; Therapeutic; response.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drosophila / physiology*
  • Eating / drug effects
  • Energy Metabolism / drug effects*
  • Hemorrhagic Disorders / chemically induced*
  • Homeostasis / drug effects*
  • Longevity / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Masoprocol / pharmacology*
  • Mice / physiology*
  • Neoplasms / chemically induced*
  • Neoplasms / mortality*


  • Antioxidants
  • Masoprocol