Bile Acid Promotes Longevity8 years, 6 months ago
Posted on Sep 27, 2010, 6 a.m.
Researchers have uncovered a potential “fountain of youth” in the form of a bile acid called lithocholic acid (LCA).
Researchers have uncovered a potential “fountain of youth” in the form of a bile acid called lithocholic acid (LCA). Vladimir Titorenko, Research Chair in Genomics, Cell Biology and Aging and a professor in the Department of Biology at Concordia University (Montreal, Canada), and colleagues screened more than 19000 small molecules to see if any had the ability to extend the lifespan of yeast. Results showed that LCA significantly extended yeast lifespan under both normal and stressed conditions. "Our findings imply that LCA extends longevity by targeting two different mechanisms," said first author Alexander Goldberg. "The first takes place regardless of the number of calories and involves the day-to-day or housekeeping proteins. The second system occurs during calorie-restriction and involves stressor proteins. Regardless of their triggers both of these mechanisms work to suppress the pro-aging process." Yeast do not synthesize LCA, or any other bile acid found in mammals. The researchers believe that yeast may have evolved to sense bile acids as being mildly toxic and that they respond to them by undergoing life-extending changes. They also believe that it is “conceivable” that LCA may be of benefit to humans. “Bile acids are beneficial to health and longevity. For example, they have shown to accumulate in the serum of long living mice and play a role in improving rodent liver and pancreatic function,” said Titorenko. "This leads us to believe that bile acids have potential as pharmaceutical agents for the treatment of diabetes, obesity and various metabolic disorders, all of which are age-related.”
Goldberg AA. Kyryakov P, Bourque SD, Titorenko VI. Xenohormetic, hormetic and cytostatic selective forces driving longevity at the ecosystemic level. Aging. 2010;2:461-470.