Longevity

Longevity Daily: 3rd September, 2020

Posted on 3 September 2020

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.

Linking the diet to the genome and disease: Our daily eating patterns define a unique biochemical barcode, representing a high-resolution description of each person’s individual biochemical exposure through his or her diet, or individual foodome. To assess the individual foodome in a reliable fashion, we can take advantage of the smartphone revolution and collect daily food diaries via image capture. Combined with genomics and disease histories, access to this full biochemical palette could help us expand the widely used genome-wide-association-study-based tools to account for the biochemical composition of our eating patterns, and systematically unveil the linkages between specific food biochemicals, genome variations and health. (Source: https://www.nature.com/articles/s43016-019-0005-1)
  1. We have no idea about what is in our food.
  2. Can alpha-ketoglutarate extend lifespan and healthspan?
    • Why is this important: Metabolism and aging are closely connected. Alpha-ketoglutarate is a ketone that plays an important role in energy metabolism, stabilises the immune system and modulates protein production. Research also suggests that alpha ketoglutarate can modulate the aging process.
    • What did the researchers do: In this study, researchers investigated the effect of alpha-ketoglutarate (delivered in the form of a calcium salt, CaAKG) on the health and longevity of aging mice.
    • Key takeaway(s): Middle-aged female mice lived longer with alpha-ketoglutarate supplementation, while both males and females lived healthier lives with less frailty in old age. The reduction in frailty was more dramatic than the lifespan extension. Supplementation was also associated with a reduction in inflammatory molecules and an increase in the anti-inflammatory molecule IL-10.

  3. Human lifespan has low heritability, however, that might not be a case with survival into extreme ages.
    • Why is this important: Studies have shown that parents, siblings and children of longevous person have lived longer than relatives of the non-longevous person. This suggests that there are specific longevity genes that cluster within families. A better understanding of those genetic factors will help provide insights into mechanisms that promote longer healthspan and survivability.
    • What did the researchers do: In this article, researchers have studied 20,360 families, comprising 314,819 individuals. Their results provide strong evidence that longevity is transmitted as a quantitative genetic trait among survivors up to the top 10% of their birth cohort

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