Scientists at Washington University in St Louis have found that superfoods like broccoli, avocado and cabbage contain a compound called nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) which aids in slowing the age process. This compound is found to lower the deterioration of bone density, liver function, metabolism and eye functions.
A research was conducted on mice which revealed that lesser weight was gained by the rodents despite ageing and eating more food. The energy production of these mice was aided by the NMN compound, which the scientists believe to be the main factor triggering the ageing process.
The compound, NMN, was then tried and tested on aged mice in order to analyse the impact of the superfood. They wanted to note if it contributed in lowering physical ageing in them.
"We have shown a way to slow the physiologic decline that we see in ageing mice," stated Professor Shin-ichiro Imai from Washington University in St Louis.
"This means older mice have metabolism and energy levels resembling that of younger mice," he added.
The body tends to lose energy-producing capacity with ageing due to lack of production of an element called nicotinamide adenine dinulceotide (NAD). The mice were found to show lower levels of NAD.
"Since human cells rely on this same energy production process, we are hopeful this will translate into a method to help people remain healthier as they age," Dr Imai was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.
The researchers revealed that this compound was effective only for old mice; there was no evidence which showed that it would be equally beneficial for younger mice.
"NMN supplementation has no effect in the young mice because they are still making plenty of their own NMN. We suspect that the increase in inflammation that happens with ageing reduces the body's ability to make NMN and, by extension, NAD," Dr Imai added.