03 June 2021

Healthy old age is real

An international team of researchers led by Professor Haim Cohen, director of the Sagol Center for Healthy Human Longevity at Bar-Ilan University, showed that mice genetically modified for increased expression of the SIRT6 gene lived on average 30% longer than wild-type mice. The result was the same for both males and females. In addition, these mice significantly better resisted various age-related diseases and maintained the same level of motor activity as young animals.

Aging is associated with general deterioration of health and an increased risk of fractures, being the main risk factor for the development of numerous chronic diseases. Sarcopenia, manifested by weakness, fatigue and low physical activity, affects more than a third of the elderly population. A deep understanding of the mechanisms underlying the aging process is a top priority for the development of measures that will lead to the preservation of health and increase life expectancy.

Accumulated data indicate that diet and metabolism are key regulators of healthy life expectancy. The researchers focused on the SIRT6 protein, which is involved in the regulation of many biological processes, including aging, obesity and insulin resistance.

In a study published in the journal Nature Communications, mice were modified in such a way that the expression of the SIRT6 gene increased. This led to an increase in their life expectancy by an average of 30% in both males and females. Translated into human age, this means that a 90-year-old person can live up to almost 120!

In addition, mice have shown amazing resistance to various age-related diseases, such as cancer and blood diseases. In addition, they showed the same level of motor activity as the young mice in the control group.

Then, using various biochemical methods and metabolic analyses, the researchers deciphered the mechanism of action of SIRT6, which promotes healthy aging. They showed that old animals lose the ability to generate energy in the absence of external sources, for example, during starvation. In contrast, transgenic mice retained the ability to generate energy from other sources (the breakdown of fats and lactic acid). SIRT6 promotes glucose production and homeostasis by improving the utilization of two main precursors – lactate and glycerol. Thus, the body of these animals independently synthesized carbohydrates necessary for the normal functioning of muscles, brain and other organs. In other words, the SIRT6 protein activates a physical response that is identical to diets that increase life expectancy.

This study, combined with previous findings, proves that SIRT6 regulates the rate of healthy aging. If it can be safely activated in humans, it will be possible to prolong life, which will have a large-scale impact on the health of the population and the global economy.

Article by A.Roichman et al. Restoration of energy homeostasis by SIRT6 extends healthy lifespan is published in the journal Nature Communications.

Aminat Adzhieva, portal "Eternal Youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru

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