, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 269–279 | Cite as

Prolongevity effects of a botanical with oregano and cranberry extracts in Mexican fruit flies: examining interactions of diet restriction and age

  • Sige Zou
  • James R. Carey
  • Pablo Liedo
  • Donald K. Ingram
  • Binbing Yu


Botanicals rich with phytochemicals have numerous health benefits. Dietary restriction (DR) extends lifespan in diverse species. We previously demonstrated that an oregano–cranberry (OC) mixture can promote longevity in the Mexican Fruit fly (Mexfly, Anastrepha ludens Loew). However, little is known about the interaction between botanicals and DR, and the age-dependent effect of botanicals on lifespan and reproduction. Here we investigated these issues by feeding Mexflies a full or DR diet supplemented with or without 2% OC. Lifespan and daily egg production of individual flies were recorded. The effect of short-term OC supplementation was evaluated by implementing the supplementation at three age intervals—young, middle, and old age. We found that OC increased lifespan of Mexflies on the full or DR diet when compared to their respective controls. OC increased reproduction of females on the full diet and, to a lesser extent, on the DR diet. Short-term OC supplementation was not sufficient to extend lifespan for males at all three age intervals nor for females at young and old age intervals. However, OC supplementation at the middle age interval was sufficient to extend lifespan in females, while only OC supplementation at the young age interval increased reproduction in females. Our findings suggest that OC extends lifespan and promotes reproduction partly through DR-independent pathways, and short-term supplementation have varied impact on longevity and reproduction. This also suggests a positive interaction between non-genetic interventions in promoting longevity and provides guidance for using botanicals as aging interventions in humans.


Lifespan Cranberry Oregano Dietary restriction Reproduction Aging intervention Dietary nutrient Anastrepha ludens Loew 



Dietary restriction


Oregano and cranberry


Mexican fruit fly



We would like to thank A. Oropeza, R. Bustamente, E. de Leon, S. Salgado, S. Rodriguez, R. Rincon, and G. Rodas for excellent technical support; Edward Spangler and Anne White-Olson for editing the manuscript; and the Moscamed-Moscafrut facility in Metapa, Chiapas, Mexico, for Mexflies and lab space. This project was supported by grants from the NIA, NIH to JRC (P01-AG022500-01; P01-AG08761-10), and the Cranberry Institute to SZ, and the Intramural Research Program at the NIA, NIH to SZ.


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Copyright information

© American Aging Association (outside the USA) 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sige Zou
    • 1
  • James R. Carey
    • 2
  • Pablo Liedo
    • 3
  • Donald K. Ingram
    • 4
  • Binbing Yu
    • 5
  1. 1.Laboratory of Experimental GerontologyNational Institute on AgingBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Department of EntomologyUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA
  3. 3.El Colegio de la Frontera SurTapachulaMexico
  4. 4.Nutritional Neuroscience and Aging LaboratoryPennington Biomedical Research CenterBaton RougeUSA
  5. 5.Laboratory of Epidemiology, Demography and BiometryNational Institute on AgingBaltimoreUSA

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