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Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) is rich in fruits and vegetables associated with longevity and a reduced risk of several age-related diseases. It is demonstrated that phytochemicals in these plant products enhance the positive effects of MedDiet by acting on the inflammatory state and reducing oxidative stress. Evidence support that these natural compounds act as hormetins, triggering one or more adaptive stress-response pathways at low doses. Activated stress-response pathways increase the expression of cytoprotective proteins and multiple genes that act as lifespan regulators, essential for the ageing process. In these ways, the hormetic response by phytochemicals such as resveratrol, ferulic acid, and several others in MedDiet might enhance cells' ability to cope with more severe challenges, resist diseases, and promote longevity. This review discusses the role of MedDiet phytochemicals in healthy ageing and the prevention of age-related diseases. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Sawan Alì, Sergio Davinelli, Giulia Accardi, Anna Aiello, Calogero Caruso, Giovanni Duro, Mattia Emanuela Ligotti, Fanny Pojero, Giovanni Scapagnini, Giuseppina Candore. Healthy ageing and Mediterranean diet: A focus on hormetic phytochemicals. Mechanisms of ageing and development. 2021 Dec;200:111592

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PMID: 34710375

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