Aging is suppressed through the ability of the body to regenerate more youthful cells and tissues. Extreme longevity is closely coupled to the ability of the body to replace aging cells, which lead to disease and aging, with youthful healthy cells. The capacity to regenerate cells depends on the ability of the body to maintain a healthy functioning pool of stem cells. Stem cells are the precursor cells which generate new replacement cells. For example, neural stem cells (NSC) can rejuvenate the brain by creating new brain cells.
However, aging stem cells progressively lose the ability to generate replacement cells. More precisely, aging stem cells lose the ability to segregate damaged molecules during cellular replication, thereby diminishing the ability of stem cells to proliferate into new replacement cells. Sulforaphane has been shown to partially reverse detrimental cellular changes in stem cells, which may be able to restore stem cell function and cellular rejuvenation.
In addition to extreme longevity, healthy stem cells may also support stem cell therapy, which depends on the proliferation ability of stem cells to heal damaged tissue.
(1) Mendelsohn AR, et al. Aging Stem Cells Lose the Capability to Distribute Damaged Proteins Asymmetrically. Rejuvenation Res. 2015 Dec