Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department



Dr. Yuqing Dong

Committee Member

Dr. Min Cao

Committee Member

Dr. Sige Zou

Committee Member

Dr. Yanzhang Wei

Committee Member

Dr. Thomas Hughes


Extensive studies have demonstrated the potent ability of many nutraceuticals to alleviate the symptoms of aging and stress. We found that cranberry extract (CBE) supplementation at an optimum concentration could prolong Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) lifespan in a manner of daf-16 and osr-1 dependence. Considering that aging is a progressive degeneration of physiological functions, it is intriguing to know whether CBE consumption may delay the age-related degenerative changes in animals. Thus, we examined the effect of CBE consumption on healthspan in C. elegans populations with different ages and age-related disorders. Our results suggest that long-term CBE supplementation leads to a profound extension of lifespan associated with the enhancement of cognitive skills and a reduction in muscular degeneration in aged worms. In addition, we found that CBE supplementation improves the health status of C. elegans models of human proteotoxic diseases, like Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, etc. Taken together, our findings suggest that cranberry has profound benefits on the aging process in C. elegans, prompting the development of a dietary (cranberry) intervention against aging and age-related disorders.

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