Fruits containing high antioxidant capacities and other bioactivities are ideal for promoting longevity and health span.
However, few fruits are known to improve the survival and health span in animals, let alone the underlying mechanisms.
Scientists investigated the effects of nectarine, a globally consumed fruit, on life span and health span in Drosophila melanogaster.
Wild-type flies were fed standard, dietary restriction (DR), or high-fat diet supplemented with 0-4% nectarine extract.
They measured life span, food intake, locomotor activity, fecundity, gene expression changes, and oxidative damage indicated by the level of 4-hydroxynonenal-protein adduct in these flies.
They also measured life span, locomotor activity, and oxidative damage in sod1 mutant flies on the standard diet supplemented with 0-4% nectarine.
Supplementation with 4% nectarine extended life span, increased fecundity, and decreased expression of some metabolic genes, including a key gluconeogenesis gene, PEPCK, and oxidative stress-response genes, including peroxiredoxins, in female wild-type flies fed the standard, DR, or high-fat diet.
Nectarine reduced oxidative damage in wild-type females fed the high-fat diet.
Moreover, nectarine improved the survival of and reduced oxidative damage in female sod1 mutant flies.
Together, these findings suggest that nectarine promotes longevity and health span partly by modulating glucose metabolism and reducing oxidative damage.