Nutraceuticals are compounds derived from foods, usually plants. In principle one can find useful therapies in the natural world, taking the approach of identifying interesting molecules and refining them to a greater potency than naturally occurs in order to produce a usefully large therapeutic effect.
Unfortunately, in practice the nutraceutical industry is a largely a lazy one, in which entrepreneurs take advantage of a short path to market, and a lack of interest among consumers in whether or not products actually work, in order to repackage cheap ingredients into expensive brands that have minimal, unreliable, or even no beneficial effects.
In today's open access paper, researchers discuss the potential for nutraceutical research and development to produce useful senolytic compounds. A senolytic therapy is one that selectively kills senescent cells in aged tissues, thus reversing aspects of aging by removing the inflammatory, harmful signaling of these cells. This class of therapy has performed well in animal models, and early human trials continue to produce promising outcomes.
Any survey of nutraceutical development is, as noted above, going to include a lot of useless, overhyped lines of work. Just because a mechanism exists doesn't mean that the mechanism produces a large enough benefit to be therapeutic, and tiny to nonexistent effect sizes are characteristic of nutraceutical development. It is safe to tune out any time compounds in green tea are mentioned, for example. Still, some plant extract senolytics, such as fisetin and piperlongumine, do appear to have interestingly large effects in animal studies – even similarly sized to the small molecule chemotherapeutic senolytics. Whether they do as well in human trials remains to be seen, but making the attempt is not unreasonable based on the animal data.
Source: Fight Aging!