advertisement
08 December 2008

Fasting boosts longevity in animals

Fasting may help some species of animals to live longer, according to research that highlights a key gene which alters the way glucose is processed.

0
Fasting may help some species of animals to live longer, according to research that highlights a key gene which alters the way glucose is processed.

Scientists at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, found that mice which had been made to fast had higher levels in their livers of a protein called SIRT1.

Part of molecular cascade
SIRT1 is part of a molecular cascade that switches on genes that produce glucose.

It has been implicated in ageing, through a cell-damaging process called oxidative stress, and in potentially fatal disorders involving glucose metabolism, such as diabetes.

Previous research has linked the equivalent gene for SIRT1 in yeast and nematode worms - two standard species used in laboratories - with a longer lifespan.

A long way to go
This is the first time the proximity has been made among mammals, which are far more complex organisms. However, a long way has to go before establishing any link between fasting and longevity among humans.

The study appears on Thursday in the British weekly science journal Nature. – (AFP)

 
NEXT ON HEALTH24X
advertisement

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Contraceptives and you »

Scientists create new contraceptive from seaweed Poor long-term birth control training leads to 'accidents'

7 birth control myths you should stop believing

Will the Pill make you gain weight? Can you fall pregnant while breastfeeding? We bust seven common myths about birth control.

Your digestive health »

Causes of digestive disorders 9 habits that could hurt your digestive system

Your tummy rumblings might help diagnose bowel disorder

With the assistance of an 'acoustic belt', doctors can now determine the cause of your tummy troubles.