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Longevity Daily: 2nd September, 2020

Posted on 2 September 2020

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Everyday our team of researchers in Oxford are inundated with scientific, and medical research articles that have the potential to improve health, wellbeing, and longevity. In this blog we highlight a few of them that caught our attention today.

  1. Two people eating the same food may have widely different effects from it.
    • Why is this important: As we get older why do some of us get fat, while others remain slender. How can our partner, or family members, or our friends eat the same food as us but have completely different body shape and size? Are all calories the same, regardless of what food they came from?
    • What did the researchers do: To understand the variable impact of similar food on our individual health researchers from King’s College London, Massachusetts General Hospital, Stanford University recruited over 1000 people, including identical twins, fraternal twins, and unrelated healthy people between the ages of 18 and 65 years. The participants were fed identical diets and medically monitored for 2-weeks to understand how they respond to different foods. The researchers named this the Personalized Responses to Dietary Composition (PREDICT 1) clinical trial.
    • Key takeaway(s): After measuring millions of health data points using continuous blood glucose monitors, and health trackers the researchers found that different people have vastly varying health responses when eating the same meal. Even identical twins varied greatly when eating the same meal. Researchers also found that eating the same meal but at different times had varying impacts on many people. The researchers found that our microbiome plays a big role in the way we responded to eating diet rich in carbohydrates, vs. a diet rich in fats. Some people had a healthy response to eating carbs, whilst others did better on fats. This study suggest that nutrition is highly personal, and there is no one-size-fits-all nutrition advice.

  2. Being fat may accelerate our aging
    • Key takeaway(s): The researchers found that being fat accelerates our aging process by shortening our telomere, these are the end caps of chromosomes which protect our DNA. Obesity causes detrimental changes in our epigenetics which make us prone to diseases of aging. Obesity also reduces the number of beneficial stem cells, and mitochondria. Being fat also increases inflammation in our body, and makes it difficult for our bodies to make new proteins and recycle dysfunctional ones. All these effects of being fat makes us age faster, and results in ill health at a younger age.
  3. Can mitochondrial therapy treat aging?
    • Why is this important: Mitochondrial dysfunction is one of the hallmarks of aging, and is therefore thought to be emphatically related to biological aging and age-related issues.
    • What did the researchers do: In this study, the research team removed mitochondria from the young mice and injected them into the older mice. After injection, the old mice demonstrated increased rate of mitochondrial activity and reduced levels of oxidative damage caused by reactive oxygen species.
    • Key takeaway(s): This improvement of mitochondrial performance not only led to enhanced learning and memory capabilities, but it also reversed the age-related degradation of skeletal muscle function. Despite these vast improvements, the abilities of the old mice were not rejuvenated fully back to the performance of the young control mice. However, this work does add to the evidence that mitochondrial dysfunction is intrinsically involved in biological aging and encouraged further steps to be taken in this area.

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