03 December 2009

Less methionine – longer life?

Scientists have revealed the secret of a full-fledged healthy diet that prolongs life
RIA News

Scientists have identified a combination of amino acids in food that contributes to an increase in the lifespan of fruit flies without reducing their ability to reproduce, and believe that a similar combination can be selected for other animal and human species, according to the researchers' article published in the journal Nature.

Scientists have long known that for many organisms, both simple, such as roundworms, and more complex, such as mammals, a strict restriction on the amount of food consumed allows you to prolong life expectancy. According to modern ideas, this leads to a slowdown in some metabolic processes, and invariably negatively affects the body's ability to procreate.

Now scientists from the non-profit research association "Velkam Trust" and University College London have shown that by carefully observing the balance of different types of proteins in the food consumed, it is possible to achieve a noticeable prolongation of life without compromising other body functions.

In their work, a group of scientists led by Linda Partridge initially tried to find out whether the positive effect of limiting the amount of food taken on life expectancy consists in limiting the intake of any particular nutrient, or is a consequence of a general reduction in calories taken. The scientists carried out their work on model animals – female fruit flies of fruit flies.

During the experiment, the flies were fed an aqueous mixture of yeast and sugars containing a different combination of additional nutrients – vitamins, fats and amino acids. At the same time, scientists have found that varying the content of various amino acids in the diet of flies significantly affects their lifespan and ability to procreate, while changing the content of other nutrients does not have such an effect.

In the course of further, more detailed experiments, scientists have shown that varying the content of one amino acid in the diet – methionine – makes it possible to achieve a noticeable prolongation of the lifespan of animals without compromising their fertility.

Thus, the addition of methionine to a low-calorie diet in the experiments of scientists led to an increase in the ability of flies to procreate and did not negatively affect their life expectancy, and a decrease in the content of methionine in a high-calorie diet led to an increase in life expectancy without harm to reproductive functions.

"It followed from previous studies that the amount of protein food consumed is of the greatest importance in the diet, but now it becomes clear to us that the diversity and combination of various amino acids, and, consequently, proteins in the diet, is much more important," commented co–author of the publication Matthew Piper, whose words are quoted by the press- the Velcom Trust service.

The authors of the article believe that since many metabolic processes in the body of flies and humans are similar or even identical, this study can also be used to identify the most useful diet for humans.

"According to our results, it may be critically important for people not to strive to limit or, conversely, to increase in the diet of a particular type of protein food, such as fish or nuts, but to choose the right combination of it, especially for a high–protein diet," Piper added.

Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru03.12.2009

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