'Anti-Atkins' Low Protein Diet Extends Lifespan in Flies9 years, 4 months ago
Posted on Oct 06, 2009, 6 a.m.
Study prompts a new level of understanding of the regulation of mitochondrial genes and opens new avenues of inquiry into the interplay between mitochondrial function, diet and energy metabolism.
Flies fed an "anti-Atkins" low protein diet live longer because their mitochondria function better. Mitochondria act as the "powerhouse" of the cells. In that it is established that mitochondrial function worsens with age in many species (including humans, spurring Type II diabetes and obesity), Pankaj Kapahi, from the Buck Institute for Age Research (Ccalifornia, USA), and colleagues have discovered new molecular mechanisms responsible for the lifespan extension in the flies have important implications for human aging and diseases such as obesity, diabetes and cancer. The findings also bring a new level of understanding of the regulation of mitochondrial genes and open new avenues of inquiry into the interplay between mitochondrial function, diet and energy metabolism. The researchers suggest that: "Our study shows that dietary restriction can enhance mitoc hondrial function hence offsetting the age-related decline in its performance.”
Brian M. Zid, Aric N. Rogers, Subhash D. Katewa, Misha A. Vargas, Marysia C. Kolipinski, Tony Au Lu, Seymour Benzer, Pankaj Kapahi. “4E-BP Extends Lifespan upon Dietary Restriction by Enhancing Mitochondrial Activity in Drosophila.” Cell, Volume 139, Issue 1, 149-160, 2 October 2009; doi:10.1016/j.cell.2009.07.034.