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Biogerontology. 2014 Apr;15(2):153-64. doi: 10.1007/s10522-013-9487-7. Epub 2013 Dec 14.

Korean mistletoe (Viscum album coloratum) extract extends the lifespan of nematodes and fruit flies.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Inha University, Inchon, 402-751, Korea.


Viscum album coloratum (Korean mistletoe) is a semi-parasitic plant that grows on various trees and has a variety of biological functions such as immunomodulation, apoptosis, and anti-tumor activity. In this study, we investigated the effects of Korean mistletoe extract (KME) on lifespan in experimental models using Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster. Supplementation of KME at 50 μg/ml extended the mean survival time by 9.61 and 19.86 % in worms and flies, respectively. The longevity benefit of KME was not due to reduced feeding, reproduction, and/or locomotion in flies and worms. The supplementation of KME also did not increase resistance to various stresses including heat shock, oxidative, or starvation stresses. Furthermore, KME did not further extend the lifespan of flies fed a dietary restricted diet but did increase the expression of Sir2, one of the target genes of dietary restriction, suggesting that KME may function as a putative dietary restriction mimetic. These results also suggest that the longevity promoting effects of KME may be an example of mild stress-induced hormesis.

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