Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Pha-4 gene associated with calorie restriction and longevity

Study identifies gene linked to longer lifespan Reuters/Yahoo!News 5/2/07 "...a gene called pha-4 plays a role in gut development in embryonic worms but in adults is associated with calorie-restricted is unclear whether similar genes may play a similar role in humans...People have three genes very much like the worm's pha-4. They are related to glucagon, a pancreatic hormone that increases blood sugar concentration and maintains the body's energy balance, particularly during fasting...Pinpointing the worm gene might open the door to drugs that imitate the effects of calorie restriction and could allow people to live longer without following such a severely restrictive diet...there is a primate study that's going on that's around 35 years into it, and it looks like the primates are going to respond very well to reduced food intake and actually live longer." usually takes a 50 to 70 percent reduction in normal food intake to yield longer lifespan in animals. "If you reduce food too much, you're going to go toward starvation and actually live shorter,"..."If you overeat -- have the Big Mac diet, high-calorie content -- you're going to come to obesity and have a short life span as well. So dietary restriction is really a sweet spot in between the two."... researchers, led by Andrew Dillin of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California"

''...mice, dogs, fruit flies, worms and other animals given calorie-restricted diets tended to live up to 40 percent longer than their better-fed cousins..."

Big news out of the Salk Institute and the media seems to be getting it - some other links below.

Also it appears like the primate study mentioned in the Reuters article is more evidence that all mammals living with calorie restriction do indeed live longer lives.

More at ScienceDaily, The Daily Telegraph, VOA, The Independent,

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