Study finds nutrient supplement helps revive aging cells

A Tampa-based nutritional supplement maker has found a formula for rejuvenating aging cells.

Natura Therapeutics says it has developed a nutraceutical called NutraStem®, or NT-020, a dietary supplement containing blueberry, green tea, vitamin D3 and carnosine. A recent study published in the journal AGE found the supplement conferred positive, rejuvenating effects on stem cells production and function in aged laboratory rats and the company is now ready to take it to the consumer market.

“Aging is a complex process that impacts many systems in the body, including stem cells, which may be particularly sensitive to the effects of aging,” said Dr. Paula Bickford, senior research career scientist at the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital, professor of neurosurgery and brain repair at the University of South Florida Health Morsani College of Medicine and co-founder of Natura Therapeutics, Inc. “As the body ages, serum, a blood component, has a negative effect on stem cells in many parts of the body and may contribute to aging.  In this study, we investigated the possibilities for a nutritional supplement NT-020 to reverse the negative impact of aging on serum and improve stem cell proliferation in rats. One advantage of a nutraceutical approach is that it targets multiple mechanisms”

Researchers have already assessed the effects of NutraStem® on neurogenesis, a process by which neurons and central nervous system cells proliferate, and on proliferation of non-nervous system stem cells, both of which normally decline with age. Earlier studies showed that NT-020 increases neurogenesis, which is associated with neural plasticity and cognitive function.

In this study, researchers examined effect of NT-020 on serum derived from young or aged rats on the proliferation of two types of stem cells: neural stem cells and bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells.  Young and aged rats were administered either a control diet or a diet supplemented with NT-020 for 28 days.

“We found that treating old rats with NT-020 eliminated the negative impact of the aged serum on stem cell proliferation,” said Dr. Yuji Kaneko, assistant professor in the Department of Neurosurgery and Brain Repair at USF.  “The rejuvenating effect of NT-020 was only observed in the aged rats, suggesting that it was not simply the presence of NT-020 in the serum, but a change in the composition of the serum in the aged rats.  Serum from aged rats markedly decreased the ability of cells to proliferate, and this negative effect was reversed with NT-020 treatment.”


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