Hongwei Si*, Chao-Qiang Lai* and Dongmin Liu* Pages 3 - 18 ( 16 )
Epicatechin (EC), a flavonoid present in various foods including cocoa, dark chocolate, berries, and tea, has recently been reported to promote general health and survival of old mice fed a standard chow diet. This is considered a novel discovery in the field of identifying natural compounds to extend lifespan, given that presumably popular anti-aging natural agents including resveratrol, green tea extract, and curcumin had failed in extending the lifespan of standard chow-diet-fed mice. However, the anti-aging mechanism of EC is not fully understood, thus impeding the potential application of this natural compound in improving a healthy lifespan in humans. In this review, we first summarized the main dietary sources that contain a significant amount of EC and recent research regarding the absorption, metabolism and distribution of EC in humans and rodents. The review is then focused on the anti-aging effects of EC in cultured cells, animals and humans with the possible physiological, cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying its lifespan-extending effects.
Epicatechin, dietary intake, lifespan, anti-aging, animals, humans, EC, Bioactive molecule.
Department of Human Sciences, Tennessee State University, Nashville, TN, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston, MA, Department of Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA