Bioactive compounds and their role in preventing age-dependent disorders and functional decline
In industrialized countries, life expectancy and, consequently, the number of people aged >60 years is constantly increasing. In parallel with this rise in mean age, age-related disorders are becoming ever more prevalent. Facilitating healthy aging by preventing or minimizing age-dependent functional decline and the occurence of chronic age-related diseases, is currently among the greatest challenges for researchers and society.
In this regard, we are interested in studying the biological effects upon dietary intake of selected plant compounds over a prolonged period of time. Since long-term nutrition trials in humans in this context are unfeasible, selected animal models (e.g. SAMP8) are employed. Dietary factors that may help facilitating healthy aging are, among others, curcuminoids, anthocyanins, and tocotrienols. We furthermore study age-dependent differences in the absorption and excretion kinetics of bioactive compounds (see tab Bioavailability).
In the context of age-dependent neurological degeneration and mitochondrial dysfunction, we closely collaborate with Dr. Gunter Eckert, who is an expert in the field of nutritional neuroscience and complements this branch of our research with important techniques, such as determining the activities of the individual complexes of the resperatory chain and more.