Longevity Benefits of Gynura Procumbens (Longevity Spinach)

Have you ever heard of a supplement called longevity spinach and wondered whether it can influence longevity? In this article, we will take a closer look at Gynura procumbens, also known as longevity spinach. We will explain the concept of longevity and discuss the effects of Gynura procumbes on your body.
Frederika Malichová

Frederika Malichová

Neuroscientist at the University Of Cambridge.

A blue image with text saying "Gynura Procumbens"

Understanding Gynura Procumbens (Longevity Spinach)

Gynura procumbens, also known as longevity spinach, is a plant known for its medicinal properties. It is native to China, Southeast Asia, and Africa, and is often used in traditional medicine. The plant is rich in nutrients and antioxidants and is believed to have potential benefits for diabetes, high blood pressure, and even cholesterol management.

What is Longevity?

Longevity is usually a term used to describe the length of an individual’s life or the lifespan of an organism.

Longevity is determined by multiple parameters including genotypic and external factors.

In general terms, it reflects the ability to maintain homeostatic abilities necessary for life even though the organism ages [1].

In the sense of evolutionary and biological context, longevity is influenced by a balance between pro-survival or anti-apoptotic and pro-apoptotic (death-promoting) factors at the cellular level [1]. These are often shaped by natural selection.

According to Tetz’s theory of longevity, it is also influenced by the accumulation of alternations in the genes of an organism and the environment one lives in [2].

When considering humans, the term longevity refers to the time of one’s life. In research, the study of longevity is called the study of ageing and it includes the life expectancy of species, the average lifespan and the average expectancy of survival at birth [3].

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What is longevity spinach (gynura procumbens)?

Longevity spinach or Gynura procumbens, is a medicinal plant usually found in Asian countries.

Gynura procumbens is a supplement shown to be beneficial in terms of its antihypertensive, antihyperglycemic, antioxidant and anticancer properties.

In a study on hypertensive rats, oral administration of Gynura procumbens significantly reduced blood pressure compared to the control group. Therefore highlighting its antihypertensive properties [4].

Further, Gynura procumbens possesses anticancer properties, which have been shown in rat models and in vitro models [4, 5]. For instance, in a cell line of breast cancer, Gynura procumbens was able to inhibit the growth of this cell line [5].

The root extract of Gynura procumbens is the highest DPPH (an assay used in biochemistry to assess the plant’s properties for scavenging free radicals) radical inhibitor. A high DPPH score indicates strong antioxidant activity [1, 3] and therefore the longevity spinach is believed to have antioxidant levels.

In addition to that, it has been found to inhibit carbohydrate-digesting enzymes, which helps alleviate postprandial hyperglycemia in diabetic mice [1]. In another study, the administration of Gynura procumbens was found to significantly lower fasting blood glucose levels in streptozotocin-induced (a chemical that can induce diabetes in mice) diabetic rats [6].

Conclusion

In conclusion, longevity spinach or Gynura procumbens has a range of beneficial effects, however, these do not translate directly to longevity. On the other hand, by possessing antioxidant, anticancer and antihypertensive properties, the plant might indirectly contribute to increased longevity.

Lastly, due to its wide range of effects, Gynura procumbens might have the potential to be involved in the development of novel therapeutic agents.

Frederika Malichová

Frederika Malichová

Frederika is a postgraduate researcher at the University of Cambridge, where she investigates new biomarkers for Frontotemporal Dementia and other tauopathies. Her research has been published at prestigious conferences such as the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2023. She obtained her BSc in Biomedical Sciences from UCL, where she worked closely with the UK Dementia Research Institute.