New anti-aging promise: study shows benefits of harmol, a compound in coffee

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Adding to the list of promising molecules for healthy aging is harmol, a compound present in foods such as coffee.

A new study in cell lines and animal models suggests that the substance can extend life expectancy, reduce age-related frailty, and improve various metabolic parameters related to quality of life during aging. Details of the research are published in the latest issue of the journal Nature Communications.

Led by researchers from the Madrid Institute for Advanced Food Studies, IMDEA Alimentación, with the participation of the INCLIVA Health Research Institute of Valencia, the study is the first to show these benefits.

“Until now these properties were not known of the compound. It is an example of all the compounds with interesting properties that remain to be discovered and developed,” confirms Pablo Fernandez Marcoshead of the Biopromet Metabolic Syndrome Group at IMDEA Alimentacion, and principal investigator of this work.

The scientist indicates the steps that have been taken in this investigation. “First we tried the harmol in cells in culture, to reduce the use of animals as much as possible, where we describe its molecular properties and how it works inside the cell. Subsequently, it was experimented on invertebrate models (flies and worms)with very short lifespans, around 1 month, in which we verified that it extended the life of these animals”.

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