Prolongevity effects of a botanical with oregano and cranberry extracts in Mexican fruit flies: examining interactions of diet restriction and age
Botanicals rich with phytochemicals have numerous health benefits. Dietary restriction (DR) extends lifespan in diverse species. We previously demonstrated that an oregano-cranberry (OC) mixture can promote longevity in the Mexican Fruit fly (Mexfly, Anastrepha ludens Loew). However, little is known about the interaction between botanicals and DR, and the age-dependent effect of botanicals on lifespan and reproduction. Here we investigated these issues by feeding Mexflies a full or DR diet supplemented with or without 2% OC. Lifespan and daily egg production of individual flies were recorded. The effect of short-term OC supplementation was evaluated by implementing the supplementation at three age intervals-young, middle, and old age. We found that OC increased lifespan of Mexflies on the full or DR diet when compared to their respective controls. OC increased reproduction of females on the full diet and, to a lesser extent, on the DR diet. Short-term OC supplementation was not sufficient to extend lifespan for males at all three age intervals nor for females at young and old age intervals. However, OC supplementation at the middle age interval was sufficient to extend lifespan in females, while only OC supplementation at the young age interval increased reproduction in females. Our findings suggest that OC extends lifespan and promotes reproduction partly through DR-independent pathways, and short-term supplementation have varied impact on longevity and reproduction. This also suggests a positive interaction between non-genetic interventions in promoting longevity and provides guidance for using botanicals as aging interventions in humans.