Longevity briefs provides a short summary of a novel research, medicine, or technology that caught the attention of our researchers in Oxford, due to its potential to improve our health, wellbeing, and longevity.
Why is this research important: Cells are able to store fat within sub-compartments called lipid droplets. In times of nutrient scarcity, cells can degrade these lipid droplets for energy in a process called autophagy (meaning ‘self eating’). Autophagy acts as a cellular ‘house keeping’ process to regulate lipids, and failure of autophagy is increasingly suspected to be involved in metabolic disorders like type II diabetes and obesity.
What did the researchers do: Apigenin is a naturally occurring anti-oxidant found in various plants including chamomile and celery. Previous research suggests it can reduce lipid accumulation in human liver cells. Here, researchers investigated whether apigenin achieves this by enhancing autophagy.
Key takeaway(s) from this research: Apigenin increased autophagic activity and decreased lipid content in human liver cells. This suggests that apigenin may boost lipid degradation by stimulating autophagy.