• White bark plant aging process
    Photo credit: ukgardenphotos via Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-ND

Plant extracts could combat aging and associated diseases

Do you ever lie awake at night worrying about the state of our economy in about a hundred years and how that may affect your retirement plans? Well, with new scientific advances in longevity, you just might have to.  

In a recent collaboration with Idunn Technologies, a group of researchers from Concordia University, have shown that certain plant extracts – notably one found in white willow bark – can increase longevity in experimental models similar to human aging pathways. What makes these extracts even more promising is that Health Canada has classified them as safe for human consumption, and they have already been shown to have clinically proven health benefits.

The longevity promoting power of these extracts opens the door to many possibilities towards combating aging, which many scientists now consider a disease. Individually, these extracts have already shown the potential to increase our lifespan. They also present the possibility of working synergistically with other drugs that provide similar benefits to increase the longevity effects either drug would have. 

That is not even where the benefits stop - molecular pathways associated with aging have also been connected to related diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, heart disease, liver dysfunction, some forms of cancer, and many others. This means that the research team from Concordia University may have also stumbled upon the potential to make an impact on these diseases as well.


Depending on your age, you might have already planned out a vague retirement plan. But from one generation to the next, what that looks like has changed drastically – and our generation will be no exception. 

In the past, improvements in basic health care – such as vaccines and antibiotics – have impacted human life expectancies across the world. Indeed, we have seen the average Canadian life extended by about 20 years since the 1950s.

Given what medical science has done for longevity without actually tackling the problem directly, we can easily say that health care advances specifically targeting aging have the potential to extend the average human life well past a century. What is even more exciting is that it would be a healthy century, since many diseases that are associated with the aging processes would be targeted.

Forecasted start year: 
2023 to 2031


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