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Nutrigerontology: A key for achieving successful ageing and longevity

  • Autori: Aiello, A.; Accardi, G.; Candore, G.; Carruba, G.; Davinelli, S.; Passarino, G.; Scapagnini, G.; Vasto, S.; Caruso, C.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2016
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • OA Link:


During the last two centuries the average lifespan has increased at a rate of approximately 3 months/year in both sexes, hence oldest old people are becoming the population with the fastest growth in Western World. Although the average life expectancy is increasing dramatically, the healthy lifespan is not going at the same pace. This underscores the importance of studies on the prevention of age-related diseases, in order to satisfactorily decrease the medical, economic and social problems associated to advancing age, related to an increased number of individuals not autonomous and affected by invalidating pathologies. In particular, data from experimental studies in model organisms have consistently shown that nutrient signalling pathways are involved in longevity, affecting the prevalence of age-related loss of function, including age-related diseases. Accordingly, nutrigerontology is defined as the scientific discipline that studies the impact of nutrients, foods, macronutrient ratios, and diets on lifespan, ageing process, and age-related diseases. To discuss the potential relevance of this new science in the attainment of successful ageing and longevity, three original studies performed in Sicily with local foods and two reviews have been assembled in this series. Data clearly demonstrate the positive effects of nutraceuticals, functional foods and Mediterranean Diet on several biological parameters. In fact, they could represent a prevention for many age-related diseases, and, although not a solution for this social plague, at least a remedy to alleviate it. Thus, the possibility to create a dietary pattern, based on the combined strategy of the use of both nutraceuticals and functional foods should permit to create a new therapeutic strategy, based not only on a specific bioactive molecule or on a specific food but on a integrated approach that, starting from the local dietary habits, can be led to a "nutrafunctional diet" applicable worldwide.