The desire of eternal youth seems to be as old as mankind. However, the increasing life expectancy experienced by populations in developed countries also involves a significantly increased incidence of the most common age-related diseases (ARDs). Senescent cells (SCs) have been identified as culprits of organismal aging. Their number rises with age and their senescence-associated secretory phenotype fuels the chronic, pro-inflammatory systemic state (inflammaging) that characterizes aging, impairing the regenerative ability of stem cells and increasing the risk of developing ARDs. A variegated class of molecules, including synthetic senolytic compounds and natural compounds contained in food, have been suggested to possess anti-senescence activity. Senolytics are attracting growing interest, and their safety and reliability as anti-senescence drugs are being assessed in human clinical trials. Notably, since SCs spread inflammation at the systemic level through pro-oxidant and pro-inflammatory signals, foods rich in polyphenols, which exert antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions, have the potential to be harnessed as "anti-senescence foods" in a nutraceutical approach to healthier aging. We discuss the beneficial effects of polyphenol-rich foods in relation to the Mediterranean diet and the dietary habits of long-lived individuals, and examine their ability to modulate bacterial genera in the gut.
Keywords: Aging; Anti-senescence diet; Cellular senescence; Polyphenols; Senolytic.
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