Natural Substances that are Recognized as Geroprotectors


Gerontology is the study of all aspects of aging, including:

  • biological
  • cognitive
  • psychological
  • social

A branch of gerontology, called biogerontology, studies the biological aging process and the various potential means to intervene in the process.   The biological aging process primarily focuses on senescence which is the gradual deterioration of function in humans and other animals.  Senescence can refer either to cellular senescence or to senescence of the whole body.

Researchers have used the term “geroprotector” to describe the various agents and strategies which prevent or reverse senescence and in particular preventing the triggers of cellular senescence.  The purpose of a geroprotector is to affect the root cause of aging and prolong lifespan as well as reduce, delay or impede the onset of age-related pathologies.   This is hopefully accomplished by mitigating the aging process and repairing certain damage caused by the aging process.  1

The geroprotectors that have been identified to date have been treatments by substances (both natural and pharmaceutical) that are researched in the laboratory on:

  • flies
  • rodents
  • yeast

The results of these geroprotectors is that these organisms have lived significantly longer.   2  

A number of the compounds identified as geroprotectors are approved for human use.

This article provides a list of natural substances and compounds that are recognized as geroprotectors.  The source of this list is obtained from and The JenAge Ageing Factor Database AgeFactDB.

The Table below lists those natural substances that are recognized as geroptrotectors.  With most of the substances, the list of studies are references to clinical trials for these substances.

Natural Substances as Geroprotectors

BerberineBerberine is a quaternary ammonium salt from the protoberberine group of isoquinoline alkaloids. It is found in such plants as Berberis [e.g. Berberis aquifolium (Oregon grape), Berberis vulgaris (barberry), Berberis aristata (tree turmeric)], Hydrastis canadensis (goldenseal)1
D-GlucosamineGlucosamine is an amino sugar and a prominent precursor in the biochemical synthesis of glycosylated proteins and lipids. Glucosamine is part of the structure of the polysaccharides chitosan and chitin2
SpermidineSpermidine is a polyamine compound found in ribosomes and living tissues, and having various metabolic functions within organisms. It was originally isolated from semen.3
Amino Acids
CreatineCreatine is a nitrogenous organic acid that occurs naturally in vertebrates and helps to supply energy to all cells in the body, primarily muscle. 4
L-theanineTheanine is an amino acid analogue of the proteinogenic amino acids L-glutamate and L-glutamine and is found primarily in particular plant and fungal species. It was discovered as a constituent of green tea in 1949 and in 1950 was isolated from gyokuro leaves, which have high theanine content.5
N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC)N-Acetyl-Cysteine is an endogenous form of Cysteine produced from Cysteine within the body.6
TrehaloseTrehalose, also known as mycose or tremalose, is a natural alpha-linked disaccharide formed by an α,α-1,1-glucoside bond between two α-glucose units.7
MelatoninMelatonin is a Neurohormone (regarded as a Neuropeptide) produced by the Pineal Gland. It is a hormone that anticipates the daily onset of darkness.8
Nordihydroguaiaretic AcidNordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA) is an antioxidant compound found in the creosote bush (Larrea tridentata).9
Sodium ButyrateSodium butyrate is a compound with formula Na(C3H7COO). It is the sodium salt of butyric acid. It has various effects on cultured mammalian cells including inhibition of proliferation, induction of differentiation and induction or repression of gene expression.10
MagnesiumMagnesium is an alkaline macromineral that functions as an electrolyte. 11
Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotides
Nicotinamide Adenine DinucleotideNicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) is a coenzyme found in all living cells. The compound is a dinucleotide, because it consists of two nucleotides joined through their phosphate groups. One nucleotide contains an adenine base and the other nicotinamide. Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide exists in two forms, an oxidized and reduced form abbreviated as NAD+ and NADH respectively.12
VinpocetineVinpocetine is a semisynthetic derivative of the vinca alkaloid vincamine, an extract from the lesser periwinkle plant.13
Organic Acids
Alpha-ketoglutarateα-Ketoglutaric acid is one of two ketone derivatives of glutaric acid. α-Ketoglutarate is a key intermediate in the Krebs cycle, coming after isocitrate and before succinyl CoA.14
FumerateFumaric acid or trans-butenedioic acid is the chemical compound with the formula HO2CCH=CHCO2H. The salts and esters are known as fumarates. Fumaric Acid participates as an intermediate compound in the Krebs cycle of energy production within the mitochondria of cells15
MalateMalic acid is an organic compound with the molecular formula C4H6O5. It is a dicarboxylic acid that is made by all living organisms. The salts and esters of malic acid are known as malates. The malate anion is an intermediate in the citric acid cycle.16
CarnosineCarnosine (beta-alanyl-L-histidine) is a dipeptide of the amino acids beta-alanine and histidine. It is highly concentrated in muscle and brain tissues.17
GlutathioneGlutathione (GSH) is an important antioxidant in plants, animals, fungi, and some bacteria and archaea, preventing damage to important cellular components caused by reactive oxygen species such as free radicals, peroxides, lipid peroxides and heavy metals. It is a tripeptide with a gamma peptide linkage between the carboxyl group of the glutamate side-chain and the amine group of cysteine (which is attached by normal peptide linkage to a glycine).18
BaicaleinBaicalein is a cell-permeable flavone, originally isolated from the roots of Scutellaria baicalensis19
Blueberry polyphenolsBlueberries are perennial flowering plants with indigo-colored berries from the section Cyanococcus within the genus Vaccinium.20
Caffeic AcidCaffeic acid is an organic compound that is classified as hydroxycinnamic acid. This yellow solid consists of both phenolic and acrylic functional groups. It is found in all plants because it is a key intermediate in the biosynthesis of lignin.21
CatechinCatechin is a flavan-3-ol, a type of natural phenol and antioxidant. It is a plant secondary metabolite. It belongs to the group of flavan-3-ols (or simply flavanols), part of the chemical family of flavonoids.22
CurcuminCurcumin is a bright yellow chemical produced by some plants. It is the principal curcuminoid of turmeric, which is a member of the ginger family (Zingiberaceae). 23
Ellagic AcidEllagic acid is a natural phenol antioxidant found in numerous fruits and vegetables. Ellagic acid is the dilactone of hexahydroxydiphenic acid. The highest levels of ellagic acid are found in blackberries, cranberries, pecans, pomegranates, raspberries, strawberries, walnuts, wolfberries, and grapes. 24
Epigallocatechin GallateEpigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), also known as epigallocatechin-3-gallate, is the ester of epigallocatechin and gallic acid, and is a type of catechin. EGCG, the most abundant catechin in tea.25
Gallic AcidGallic acid is a trihydroxybenzoic acid, a type of phenolic acid, a type of organic acid, also known as 3,4,5-trihydroxybenzoic acid, found in gallnuts, sumac, witch hazel, tea leaves, oak bark, and other plants.26
GenisteinGenistein is a phytoestrogen and belongs to the category of isoflavones. Genistein is found in a number of plants including lupin, fava beans, soybeans, kudzu, and psoralea being the primary food source27
QuercetinQuercetin is a flavonol found in many fruits, vegetables, leaves and grains. 28
Quercetin DihydrateQuercetin Dihydrate is the dihydrate preparation of Quercetin, a ubiquitous natural flavonoid with antiproliferative properties. 29
Quercetin-3-O-Glucoside (Isoquercetin)Isoquercetin is a chemical compound. It can be isolated from mangoes and from Rheum nobile, the Noble rhubarb or Sikkim rhubarb, a giant herbaceous plant native to the Himalayas. Quercetin glycosides are also present in tea.30
Polydatin (Piceid)Piceid is a stilbenoid glucoside and is a major resveratrol derivative in grape juices. It can be found in the bark of Picea sitchensis. It can also be isolated from Polygonum cuspidatum, the Japanese knotweed (syn. Fallopia japonica). Resveratrol can be produced from piceid fermented by Aspergillus oryzae. 31
ResveratrolResveratrol (3,5,4′-trihydroxy-trans-stilbene) is a stilbenoid, a type of natural phenol, and a phytoalexin produced naturally by several plants in response to injury or when the plant is under attack by pathogens such as bacteria or fungi. Food sources of resveratrol include the skin of grapes, blueberries, raspberries, and mulberries and peanuts. 32
Rosmarinic AcidRosmarinic Acid is an organic acid found in Basil, Marjoram, Oregano, Perilla, Rosemary, Sage, Self-Heal (6.1% of the dry weight of Self-Heal) and Spearmint.33
Ursolic AcidUrsolic acid (sometimes referred to as urson, prunol, malol, or 3-beta-3-hydroxy-urs-12-ene-28-oic-acid), is a pentacyclic triterpenoid identified in the epicuticular waxes of apples as early as 1920 and widely found in the peels of fruits, as well as in herbs and spices like rosemary and thyme.34
Alpha Lipoic AcidLipoic acid (LA), also known as α-lipoic acid and alpha lipoic acid (ALA) and thioctic acid is an organosulfur compound derived from octanoic acid. ALA is made in animals normally, and is essential for aerobic metabolism.35
Ascorbic AcidAscorbic acid is a naturally occurring organic compound with antioxidant properties. It is a white solid, but impure samples can appear yellowish. It dissolves well in water to give mildly acidic solutions. Ascorbic acid is one form ("vitamer") of vitamin C.36
NicotinamideNicotinamide, (/ˌnɪkəˈtɪnəmaɪd/) also known as niacinamide and nicotinic amide, is the amide of nicotinic acid (vitamin B3 / niacin). Nicotinamide is a water-soluble vitamin and is part of the vitamin B group. Nicotinic acid, also known as niacin, is converted to nicotinamide in vivo, and, though the two are identical in their vitamin functions, nicotinamide does not have the same pharmacological and toxic effects of niacin37
Nicotinamide RibosideNicotinamide riboside (NR) is a pyridine-nucleoside form of vitamin B3 that functions as a precursor to nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide or NAD+.38
Vitamin B3Niacin (also known as vitamin B3 or nicotinic acid) is an organic compound.39
Vitamin B5Pantothenic acid, also called pantothenate or vitamin B5 (a B vitamin), is a water-soluble vitamin.40
Vitamin D3Cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) is one of the five forms of vitamin D. It is a secosteroid, that is, a steroid molecule with one ring open. 41

Informational Resources:

The JenAge Ageing Factor Database AgeFactDB

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