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Diet Aging Longevity

Ketogenic Diets May Delay Aging

3 months, 4 weeks ago

1369  0
Posted on Feb 22, 2018, 8 p.m.

Gladstone Institute claim to have discovered a ketogenic diet that is low in calories and carbohydrates that could potentially help to delay aging and reverse aging effects, as published in the journal Science.

 

One sixth of the American population is aged 65 and older, this aging population face increased risk of heart disease and other age related conditions which places a high burden on the healthcare system.

Gladstone Institute claim to have discovered a ketogenic diet that is low in calories and carbohydrates that could potentially help to delay aging and reverse aging effects, as published in the journal Science.

 

One sixth of the American population is aged 65 and older, this aging population face increased risk of heart disease and other age related conditions which places a high burden on the healthcare system.

 

Restricting calories slows the aging process and increases longevity, with the mechanism behind the effect remaining unknown in previously conducted studies. The researchers have found that a chemical compound called B-hydroxybutyrate that is produced when the human body is in a starvation state plays a huge role in the process of aging.

 

Following a ketogenic diet can also induce the product of the same compound. The researchers believe that this chemical compound may possibly be the key to development of new therapies for many of the age related conditions.

 

High concentrations of ketone bodies are considered to be toxic, incases of type 1 diabetes as an example the rise in ketone bodies can lead to serious life threatening medical emergencies. Low levels of the same ketone bodies may be beneficial by protecting cells from oxidative stress that is a contributing factor in aging. Previous research shows that calorie restricted diets can slow the aging process and increase longevity.

 

This research showed that B-hydroxybutyrate is a major source of energy for the body during fasting periods, exercising, and starving. B-hydroxybutyrate can also block certain enzymes that can promote oxidative stress in the body contributing to the aging process. The effects of B-hydroxybutyrate were examined in a series of laboratory experiments that were first tested in petri dishes, then in mice. Assessment of ketogenic diets in mice saw an increase in the levels of B-hydroxybutyrate which blocked the effects of an enzyme called histone deacetylases.  Histone deacetylases will normally work by inhibiting actions of 2 genes called Mt2 and Foxo3a. Blocking HDACs activated Mt2 and Foxo3a, when activated the products of these genes protect the cells from oxidative stress reducing the genetic damage to the cells that would cause aging.

 

The team hope the study findings will open avenues for research into diseases related to aging, and will carry on their work to see the potential benefits that a ketogenic diet might provide in relation to diseases of the heart and brain.

 

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