Aging Delayed in Mice by Administering a Protein Supplement

By: | July 16th, 2019

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

Could we slow-down or even stop aging by simply taking protein supplements? According to the recent findings of a group of researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, this is actually a very real and tangible possibility. The study suggests that the key is the enzyme called eNAMPT, a protein that is abundant in the blood of young people, as well as young mice that were used in the associated experiments. This enzyme is a crucial link in the chain of the cell-level energy generation process. Older people have less eNAMPT circulating their bloodstream, and so cells have a harder time generating their needed fuel.

The researchers figured that if they could isolate the eNAMPT protein and inject it to the blood of older mice, the cells of the test subjects could potentially get going again, and according to their report, this is precisely what happened. Older mice that received the enzyme demonstrated a notable increase in their physical activity, improved insulin production, better sleep quality, improved eye photo-receptors functionality, and increased performance on memory tests. The remarkable results paint a promising picture for human clinical trials, as this could be a game-changer for real.

On humans, eNAMPT is used by the hypothalamus in the brain to manufacture NAD (Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide), which is a nucleotide compound that holds several essential roles in metabolism, and thus energy production. As eNAMPT levels drop, the hypothalamus cannot produce much NAD, and as a result, the body temperature levels, thirst regulation, sleep, circadian rhythms, and even the maintenance of the hormone levels are all interrupted. In fact, the researchers could even accurately predict the lifespan of the mice by merely measuring the eNAMPT levels in their blood. Another striking finding was the fact that female mice had consistently higher levels of eNAMPT, which could explain why women generally live longer than men.

Bill Toulas

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