Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Control Aging

Don at Primal Wisdom has posted a link to a two-part film by Cynthia Kenyon. She looks at the role of hormone controlled aging. The hormone receptor she studied (DAF-2), is similar to two hormone receptors in humans - the insulin receptors and IGF-1 receptors:

  • Once it was thought that aging was just a random and haphazard process. Instead, the rate of aging turns out to be subject to regulation by transcription factors that respond to hormones and other signals. In the nematode C. elegans, in which many key discoveries about aging were first made, the aging process is subject to regulation by food intake, sensory perception, and signals from the reproductive system. Changing genes and cells that affect aging can lengthen lifespan by six fold, and can also delay age-related disease, such as the growth of tumors.
Part 1 : An Evolutionarily-Conserved Regulatory System for Aging (42:46)

Part 2 : The Regulation of Aging by Signals from the Reproductive System, and, also, a Link Between Aging and Tumor Growth (37:16)

The long and the short of it is that elevated insulin and IGF-1 'block' longevity. In mice it was found that if you removed the insulin receptors from the fat tissue in particular, they were healthy, didn't get fat (even on a high fat diet), and lived 20% longer:

  • "What does all this mean? Why should inhibiting insulin and IGF-1 extend lifespan? They are important as insulin and IGF-1 promote growth and food storage. When you lower the level of insulin and IGF-1 you shift the metabolism of the animal from one that favours growth and food storage to one that favours maintenance and resistance to stress."

Looks like ADV is ahead of the game once again!

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