Saturday, February 27, 2010

Natural Supplements Cocktail Extends Health and Life of Mice

I came across this interesting report of an experiment done at McMaster University. They fed mice a cocktail of vitamins (B-complex, D3), minerals (zinc), and herbal supplements (e.g. garlic, green tea, ginseng). Compared to controls, the mice fed the cocktail lived 10% longer, were spontaneously twice as active in old age, appeared to get smarter as they aged, and, unlike the controls, did not turn gray or bald (at least true of the example animal in the video).

You have to watch the video to see the vast difference between the supplemented and the unsupplemented animals. The supplemented animals don't even look or act aged.

This is the first report I have seen documenting extension of lifespan with nutrient enrichment in animals. The scientists are now testing the combination of supplements on crickets, and those fed the supplements apparently have doubled life spans compared to controls.

This supports the hypothesis that a high nutrient density, equatorial analogue (i.e. herb-enriched) paleo diet might extend lifespan in humans without caloric restriction. Take a look at Art DeVany for an example of the possible results.

CBC News - Health - Old mice run faster with supplements


Dr. B G said...

I saw this research too! Mirrors work by Bruce Ames too. Panaceas exist.

O'Brien said...

So are there great non-supplemental sources for these vitamins and minerals like Zinc?

Gyan said...

I wonder if the herbs are essential or just D3 and zinc alone would do the trick?

Don said...


B-complex: liver

Vitamin D: sun exposure, fish and fish oils

Zinc: oysters


They plan to test various combinations. I tend to think that the herbs play an important role; they mimic the wild foods and herbs our ancestors ate.

Stephan said...

Hi Don,

Interesting. I'll have to read the paper. The "baldness" one of the mice shows is called barbering, and it's a function of social status rather than aging. Dominant mice "barber" subordinate mice by grooming them obsessively, causing hairless patches. It was really misleading of them to select a barbered mouse as the representative of the normal diet group, because it's not an age-related phenotype. It makes me think they cherry-picked mice for the video that best fit their hypothesis, rather than being truly representative of each group.

O'Brien said...


Thank you for the answer, one more questions....
We don't eat shellfish...another zinc source?

Don said...


Know that I know about the "balding", the narrator misrepresented it, and I would agree it might mislead. Still, the two animals were vastly different, assuming they were representative. I do want to read the original paper also.


Red meat.

mintradz said...

Most likely B-complex plays a vital part on this research. Zinc literally increases the mice immunity system as well as D3. This is a very interesting study. On the other hand, why does human has a shorter lifespan since we intake too much of this minerals? Or should we just stick with vegan supplements instead?