What is BLSA?
The Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA) started in 1958 and is conducted by the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
It is the longest-running study of aging and longevity in the world, has involved over 3,000 participants and resulted in hundreds of scientific publications.
Majority of the studies on aging are cross-sectional: they compare participants in one age group to participants in another age group. The supremacy of BLSA is that it observes over decades changes in health of the participants thus reducing the distortion from external factors. The BLSA is considered a gold-standard for longitudinal and aging research.
Objectives of the study
The core focus of the study is finding and defining what 'normal aging' is. There is a difference between disease later in life that results from improper lifestyle, nutrition etc and 'normal' aging - healthy tear-and-wear. Another major goal is to identify the relationship between aging and disease.
As the National Institute of Aging put it, the idea is to establish "the true effects of aging and how to separate factors such as disease, socioeconomic disadvantage, [...] from the underlying biological or other mechanisms common to human aging".
People age differently, yet scientists were able to establish age-related changes that will be experienced by almost everyone.
The value of the BLSA findings for those who are interested in increasing their own life span and health span is, among other things. in pinpointing the areas that may benefit from early intervention above and beyond simply healthy lifestyle. It is always easier to prevent than to correct.
Some of the Main and Most Interesting Findings
Basic recommendations for healthy aging
Never hurts to remind ourselves -
Sources and References
Fabbri E, An Y, Zoli M, et al. Association Between Accelerated Multimorbidity and Age-Related Cognitive Decline in Older Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging Participants without Dementia. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2016;64(5):965-72.
Ferrucci L. The Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA): a 50-year-long journey and plans for the future. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2008;63(12):1416-9.
Gittings N. S., Fozard J. L. Age related changes in visual acuity. Experimental Gerontology. 1986;21(4-5):423–433. doi: 10.1016/0531-5565(86)90047-1.
Moore AZ, Caturegli G, Metter EJ, et al. Difference in muscle quality over the adult life span and biological correlates in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2014;62(2):230-6.
Acessed on February 7 -9, 2019 -
For those unfamiliar with the topic, accumulation of senescent (old, damaged, no longer replicating) cells in our tissues and organs is one of the reasons why our organs lose their functionality and why we age. Not only those old cells malfunction, they also secret pro-inflammatory signals (Jian-Lin Res, 2009) and produce toxic substances into the extra-cellular environment, thus leading to many age-related diseases. Moreover, they translate the senescent phenotype to the neighboring cells suggesting to them to assume the same senescent expression.
When we are young, our immune system promptly eliminates the senescent cells. As we grow older, this house-cleaning process slows down.
Elimination of the senescent cells, along (ideally) with periodic activation of telomerase (telomere lengthening enzyme/process), is one of very promising anti-aging strategies. I will cover that approach in detail in one of later posts.
A senolytic is a compound or a drug or a supplement that selectively kills senescent cells leaving healthy young cells unaffected.
Fisetin is a flavonoid, a polyphenol found in small concentrations in fruits and vegetables such as strawberry, apple, persimmon, grape, onion, and cucumber. See the fisetin content in food at the end of the post.
Fisetin is close in structure to quercetin, but not as well studied.
Besides its senolytic properties, Fisetin has also been long known to be an anti-oxidant and to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties (Maher P, 2015). In addition, Fisetin is not only neuroprotective like other flavonoids, which stems from their anti-oxidant properties, but it is also neurotrophic (causes growth of new brain cells) (Sagara, 2004).
Studies on mice and human tissues have also identified that fisetin acts as a senolytic.
A recent study (Yousefzadeh M, 2018) looked at 11 promising senolytic compounds, including curcumin and quercitin, and found fisetin to be the most effective.
The main findings and conclusions from the study were:
Dosage. What we know -
Toxicity. How much is safe?
Other relevant studies and information:
What we have no information about
Here is some data on Fisetin in fruit
Fruit/Vegetable Amount µg/g
Lotus Root 5.8
Feel free to comment, especially if you have additional information!