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Scientists have known about fisetin for almost 200 years, since it was first isolated from the Venetian sumach plant in 1833.
But fisetin didn’t come into the anti-aging and longevity scene until 2018 when it was recognized for use as a senolytic or senotherapeutic—a substance that destroys senescent cells.
As senescent cells are a leading contributor to accelerated aging and age-related disease, many researchers have entered the race to create safe yet powerful senolytics as an anti-aging tool.
In addition to its senolytic effects, fisetin’s health benefits include antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and brain-boosting action, making it a top contender in the longevity supplement space.
Fisetin is a flavonoid—a broad category of compounds that give plants their vibrant hues and support health with potent antioxidant activity.
In this case, fisetin contributes to the yellowish tint behind several fruits and vegetables, including strawberries, onions, apples, and grapes.
Like all flavonoids, fisetin scavenges for free radicals and fights oxidative stress—the buildup of inflammatory and reactive compounds that damage cells and DNA.
Although the first published study on fisetin in 1966 boasts its antibacterial activity, the flavonoid is now most known for its contributions to fighting cellular senescence, boosting brain function, and slowing cancer cell growth.
Cellular senescence is a state of irreversible growth arrest—essentially, cells stop dividing and lose their function.
However, while senescent cells lose function, they don’t completely die and leave the body—they enter a zombie-like state that damages neighboring cells and tissues.
This inflammatory damage that comes with senescent cells is thought to contribute to tissue and organ dysfunction and various age-related diseases.
Therefore, researchers have started testing and implementing the use of senolytics as a way of entirely destroying and removing senescent cells from the body.
In one landmark 2018 study, researchers tested a panel of ten potential senolytics in aged mice, finding that fisetin was the most effective, clearing senescent cells and extending the lifespan of the mice by over 10%.
Fisetin even outperformed resveratrol, quercetin, and curcumin—three popular antioxidant compounds that have been used for decades.
Although the majority of studies on fisetin and senescence are done using animals or cells that were treated or cultured in the lab, clinical trials with older adults are underway to determine how the flavonoid can support healthy aging.
This is why several anti-aging supplements use fisetin in their formulations, including Neurohacker’s Qualia Senolytic—a twice-a-month regimen designed to clear senescent cells.
Fisetin is linked to better brain function by reducing neuroinflammation, fighting oxidative stress in the brain, and clearing senescent cells.
In a study published in Molecular Neurobiology, mice with Alzheimer’s disease who received fisetin supplements had markedly improved memory, with reductions in neuroinflammation and suppressed degeneration in the hippocampus—the brain region most associated with memory and learning.
Other research has found that fisetin supports the aging brain by inducing autophagy—our body’s internal recycling program that removes old, damaged, or toxic cells and cell parts to make way for healthy ones.
Similar to fisetin’s senolytic qualities, we don’t yet have clinical research in humans backing up these brain-boosting claims—but so far, the data is promising.
Although fisetin isn’t approved for cancer prevention or treatment, cell-based and animal studies have pointed to its potential future use in slowing growth in cancer cell lines.
Fisetin induces apoptosis—programmed cell death—in various cancer cell lines, including lung, liver cancer, prostate, and laryngeal cancers.
In a study with mice, supplemental fisetin inhibits lung tumor cell growth by 67%, which was increased to 92% when combined with a chemotherapy drug.
Other studies showed that fisetin suppressed tumor growth by 66% in mice with melanoma.
These potential anti-carcinogenic effects likely occur primarily due to fisetin’s senolytic qualities, as some senescent cells can contain cancer-promoting mutations.
With its combination of senescent cell-clearing, autophagy-boosting, and cancer-fighting abilities, fisetin is a top contender for slowing the aging process.
Experiments with smaller species clearly show that fisetin can extend lifespan—demonstrating a lifespan extension of 55% and 23% in yeast and flies, respectively.
Fisetin also lengthens healthspan—the number of years lived without developing disease—by reducing the risk of several common age-related diseases.
Fisetin’s potential anti-aging effects are exciting, but we will need to wait and see if they can be confirmed in human trials.
Now that we know how fisetin works, let’s answer some FAQs about fisetin supplements, fisetin toxicity and adverse effects, and how to take it.
As fisetin has not been studied for very long as a supplement, researchers aren’t entirely sure about its long-term effects.
However, animal studies have not found any evidence of fisetin toxicity—even at very high doses.
There has been one clinical trial from the Mayo Clinic looking at fisetin’s effects on humans, which found that people with colorectal cancer who took 100mg of fisetin for seven weeks had no significantly different side effects than the control group.
Due to the current lack of available safety data, pregnant women and children should avoid fisetin supplements.
Fisetin may also increase the effects of blood-thinning drugs or medications that lower blood sugar, so check with your doctor before starting fisetin.
Fisetin is found in many fruits and vegetables, with strawberries, onions, apples, persimmons, kiwi, and grapes being the most prominent.
However, fisetin only naturally occurs in these plants in low concentrations, leading many people to take fisetin supplements instead.
The average daily intake of fisetin from food sources is estimated to be only 0.4mg, while most supplements contain much more than this.
For example, Neurohacker’s Qualia Senolytic contains 1400mg of fisetin in their formulation, which is designed to be taken only two days out of every month.
Since all clinical studies with fisetin have been conducted with animals, there is no established recommended dosage.
Most fisetin supplements range from 100-500mg per day—including the clinical trial with cancer patients, which used 100mg per day.
In the ongoing clinical trial looking at the effects of fisetin in older adults, fisetin is used at a higher dose of 20mg per kg of body weight for two consecutive days.
This would be around 1,400mg per day for an average-sized person of 155 pounds—identical to the dose found in Neurohacker’s Qualia Senolytic.
However, taking these high doses every day is not recommended, leading us to our next question.
You could likely take fisetin daily at smaller doses of about 100-500mg.
With higher doses of 1000mg or more, fisetin is not designed to be taken daily—as with Qualia Senolytic, supplementing only for a couple of days per month is recommended.
However, we will need more clinical data in humans before the ideal doses and timing of fisetin supplements are known.
Although you could certainly gorge on strawberries and persimmons to boost your fisetin intake, opting for fisetin supplements is an easier option.
Unfortunately, fisetin is notoriously poorly absorbed by the body.
Researchers have found that taking fisetin with fats can increase its bioavailability, leading many supplement manufacturers to add certain oils to their formulations.
If you’re unsure if your fisetin supplement contains oil, having it alongside a fat-containing meal could do the trick.
And, be sure to recognize what type of fisetin supplement you have—for example, it may be a “hit-and-run” type designed to be utilized only two days out of the month, like Neurohacker’s Qualia Senolytic, or it could be formulated for daily use.
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