Interventions to slow cardiovascular aging: Dietary restriction, drugs and novel molecules

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Abstract

Cardiovascular aging is a highly dynamic process. Despite the fact that cardiovascular function and structure change with age, they can still be modulated even in aged humans. The most prominent approaches to improve age-dependent vascular changes include dietary restriction and pharmacologic agents interacting with signaling pathways implicated in this context. These include inhibition of TOR, glycolysis, and GH/IGF-1, activation of sirtuins, and AMPK, as well as modulators of inflammation, epigenetic pathways, and telomeres. Promising nutritional approaches include Mediterranean diet and novel dietary bioactives including flavanols, anthocyanins, and lignins. Many plant bioactives improve cardiovascular parameters implied in vascular healthy aging including endothelial function, arterial stiffness, blood pressure, cholesterol, and glycemic control. However, the mechanism of action of most bioactives is not established and it remains to be elucidated whether they act as dietary restriction mimetics or via other modes of action. Even more importantly, whether these interventions can slow or even reverses components of cardiovascular aging itself and can increase healthspan or longevity in humans needs to be determined.

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