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UPM Scientists Are Working To Unravel The Secret Of Staying ‘Forever Young’

UPM Scientists Are Working To Unravel The Secret Of Staying ‘Forever Young’

TetraSOD is touted as the most potent source of master antioxidants.

Fernando Fong

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The pursuit of everlasting youth has eluded the wisest of men through the ages but a dedicated research team in Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) are giving it a shot using particular marine microalgae.

The goal is to make growing old a fun and exciting process, ageing that allows for an adequately fit – perhaps even active – lifestyle.

UPM’s Bioprocessing and Biomanufacturing Research Centre (BBRC) team, led by Professor Dr. Arbakariya Ariff think the key might lie in superoxide dismutase (SOD), a powerful functional ingredient.

Professor Dr. Arbakariya Ariff (left) is spearheading the efforts by UPM in the R&D of functional ingredients. (Credit: Fernando Fong)

“SOD is a very important master antioxidant enzyme that protects cells from damage caused by free radicals and speeds up beneficial chemical reactions in the body.

“It protects against inflammation and reduces ageing signs by converting the highly destructive free radicals,” he said.

Scientists are working to expand the efficacy of marine microalgae Tetraselmis chuii at UPM’s Bioprocessing and Biomanufacturing Research Centre. (Credit: Fernando Fong)

How marine microalgae could keep us young

Arbakariya, a professor of fermentation technology and bioprocess engineering, and his team are spending countless hours researching and refining the SOD activity of marine microalgae Tetraselmis chuii (TetraSOD).

With up to 30 times more SOD activity than other marine phytoplankton sources, TetraSOD is touted as the most potent source of master antioxidants, making it the worst enemy of free radicals.

Microalgae requires light, carbon dioxide, water, and nutrients to grow. (Credit: Fernando Fong)

Stress and environmental factors are responsible for the excessive formation of free radicals, which leads to ageing and a host of diseases.

These factors include UV rays, smoking, alcohol consumption, pollution, heavy exercise and mental stress.

Arbakariya pointed out that the United Nations has declared the next 10 years as the Decade of Healthy Ageing (2021-2030).

We want to help people to recover from illness more quickly and reduce the risk of getting a chronic disease.

Professor Dr. Arbakariya Ariff

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