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A literature review of flavonoids and lifespan in model organisms

  • Kathrin Pallauf (a1), Nils Duckstein (a1) and Gerald Rimbach (a1)


Epidemiological data on consumption of flavonoid-containing food points to the notion that some of these secondary plant metabolites may favour healthy ageing. The aim of the present paper was to review the literature on lifespan extension by flavonoids in worms, flies and mice. In most studies, worms and flies experienced lifespan extension when supplemented with flavonoids either as extracts or single compounds. Studies with mutant worms and flies give hints as to which gene products may be regulated by flavonoids and consequently enhance longevity. We discuss the data considering putative mechanisms that may underlie flavonoid action such as energy-restriction-like effects, inhibition of insulin-like-growth-factor signalling, induction of antioxidant defence mechanisms, hormesis as well as antimicrobial properties. However, it remains uncertain whether human lifespan could be prolonged by increased flavonoid intake.

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Corresponding author

* Corresponding author: Prof Dr G. Rimbach, fax +49(0)431-8802628, email


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