, Volume 35, Issue 4, pp 1117–1132 | Cite as

A botanical containing freeze dried açai pulp promotes healthy aging and reduces oxidative damage in sod1 knockdown flies

  • Mara Laslo
  • Xiaoping Sun
  • Cheng-Te Hsiao
  • Wells W. Wu
  • Rong-Fong Shen
  • Sige ZouEmail author


Superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1), a critical enzyme against oxidative stress, is implicated in aging and degenerative diseases. We previously showed that a nutraceutical containing freeze-dried açai pulp promotes survival of flies fed a high-fat diet or sod1 knockdown flies fed a standard diet. Here, we investigated the effect of açai supplementation initiated at the early or late young adulthood on lifespan, physiological function, and oxidative damage in sod1 knockdown flies. We found that Açai supplementation extended lifespan even when started at the age of 10 days, which is the time shortly before the mortality rate of flies accelerated. Life-long açai supplementation increased lifetime reproductive output in sod1 knockdown flies. Our molecular studies indicate that açai supplementation reduced the protein levels of genes involved in oxidative stress response, cellular growth, and nutrient metabolism. Açai supplementation also affected the protein levels of ribosomal proteins. In addition, açai supplementation decreased the transcript levels of genes involved in oxidative stress response and gluconeogenesis, while increasing the transcript levels of mitochondrial biogenesis genes. Moreover, açai supplementation reduced the level of 4-hydroxynonenal-protein adducts, a lipid peroxidation marker. Our findings suggest that açai supplementation promotes healthy aging in sod1-deficient flies partly through reducing oxidative damage, and modulating nutrient metabolism and oxidative stress response pathways. Our findings provide a foundation to further evaluate the viability of using açai as an effective dietary intervention to promote healthy aging and alleviate symptoms of diseases with a high level of oxidative stress.


Aging intervention Açai Superoxide dismutase 1 Lifespan Oxidative stress Reproductive aging Drosophila melanogaster 



We thank Alex Schauss to provide us the açai pulp extract and thank Ed Spangler, Alex Schauss, Don Ingram, Jim Carey, and Pablo Liedo for critical reading of the manuscript. This work was supported by funding from the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute on Aging, NIH to S.Z. and a research grant from the NIH Office of Dietary Supplements to X.P. and S.Z.


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Copyright information

© American Aging Association (outside the USA) 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mara Laslo
    • 1
  • Xiaoping Sun
    • 1
  • Cheng-Te Hsiao
    • 1
  • Wells W. Wu
    • 2
  • Rong-Fong Shen
    • 3
  • Sige Zou
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratory of Experimental GerontologyNational Institute on AgingBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Laboratory of Clinical InvestigationNational Institute on AgingBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.Center for Biologics Evaluation and ResearchFood and Drug AdministrationBethesdaUSA

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