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Functional foods, nutraceuticals and herbs: an approach of cell and molecular anti-ageing mechanisms

Biomedical Nutritional and Epidemiologic Research Group (BIONUTRE), Campus Universitário do Araguaia, Federal University of Mato Grosso (UFMT).
Av. Gov. Jaime Campos, 6390, Barra do Garças, 78.600-000, MT, Brazil


Foods and herbs can contain expressive amounts of bioactive compounds which can decrease ageing and prolong life span of human and living organisms. This article updates and summarizes the current anti-ageing biological mechanisms of bioactive compounds from functional foods, herbs and nutraceuticals.


In 1991, the Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare first used the term “Foods for Specified Health Use” (FOSHU). Two years later this concept was further defined as “functional food” in an article in the Nature journal (1). Functional food is considered any food able to enhance body functions improving health and decreasing diseases’ risk.
Actually there is a lot of anecdote regarding anti-ageing and rejuvenating practices and therapies. Fortunately there are also rigorous and serious science-based anti-ageing strategies (2).
Then, the objective of this short review is to discuss the specific science-based anti-ageing mechanisms of bioactive compounds from functional foods, herbs, and nutraceuticals.

In fact, there are four major science strategies for promotion of longevity or life-span increment: adoption of healthy lifestyles (incorporation of functional foods, herbs, and nutraceuticals on healthy diets, regular practice of physical activities), avoidance of disease’s risk factors (smoking, excessive sunlight, mental stress), mild or subletal exposi ...

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