Hormetic Effects of Phytochemicals on Health and Longevity

Jan Martel, David M. Ojcius, Yun Fei Ko, Po Yuan Ke, Cheng Yeu Wu, Hsin Hsin Peng, John D. Young*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

106 Scopus citations


Caloric restriction, intermittent fasting, and exercise activate defensive cellular responses such as autophagy, DNA repair, and the induction of antioxidant enzymes. These processes improve health and longevity by protecting cells and organs against damage, mutations, and reactive oxygen species. Consuming a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and mushrooms can also improve health and longevity. Phytochemicals such as alkaloids, polyphenols, and terpenoids found in plants and fungi activate the same cellular processes as caloric restriction, fasting, and exercise. Many of the beneficial effects of fruits and vegetables may thus be due to activation of stress resistance pathways by phytochemicals. A better understanding of the mechanisms of action of phytochemicals may provide important insights to delay aging and prevent chronic diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-346
Number of pages12
JournalTrends in Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number6
StatePublished - 06 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Ltd


  • aging
  • caloric-restriction mimetics
  • dietary supplements
  • hormesis
  • medicinal mushrooms


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