Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Amino acid supplement makes mice live longer

Date:
October 5, 2010
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
When mice are given drinking water laced with a special concoction of amino acids, they live longer than your average mouse, according to a new report. The key ingredients in the supplemental mixture are so-called branched-chain amino acids, which account for 3 of the 20 amino acids (specifically leucine, isoleucine, and valine) that are the building blocks of proteins.

When mice are given drinking water laced with a special concoction of amino acids, they live longer than your average mouse, according to a new report in the October issue of Cell Metabolism, a Cell Press publication. The key ingredients in the supplemental mixture are so-called branched-chain amino acids, which account for 3 of the 20 amino acids (specifically leucine, isoleucine, and valine) that are the building blocks of proteins.

"This is the first demonstration that an amino acid mixture can increase survival in mice," said Enzo Nisoli of Milan University in Italy, noting that researchers last year showed that leucine, isoleucine, and valine extend the life span of single-celled yeast.

In the new study, the researchers gave middle-aged, male mice extra branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) in their drinking water. The animals were otherwise healthy and eating standard mouse chow.

Animals that were given the extra amino acids over a period of months lived longer, with a median life span of 869 days compared to 774 days for untreated control animals, the researchers report. That's an increase of 12 percent.

Those survival gains were accompanied by an increase in mitochondria in cardiac and skeletal muscles. Mitochondria are the cellular components responsible for powering cells. The supplement-fed mice also showed increased activity of SIRT1, a well-known longevity gene, and of the defense system that combats free radicals. They therefore showed fewer signs of oxidative damage.

The benefits of the amino acid supplements appear similar to those earlier ascribed to calorie restriction, Nisoli said.

Treated animals also showed improvements in their exercise endurance and in motor coordination, the researchers report. (It is important to note that the animals in the current study were all male, Nisoli said. They plan to test the effects in females in future studies.)

The findings in older mice suggest that the supplementary mixture may be specifically beneficial for those who are elderly or ill. "It may not be useful in young people or body builders," who are already in good condition, he said. But it might be a useful preventive strategy, he added, emphasizing that the mice they studied "were just aged, not sick."

Nisoli emphasized that consuming amino acid supplements is different from consuming proteins containing those amino acids. That's because they do not have to be digested, and can enter the bloodstream immediately. "They come with no energy cost."

He suspects that BCAA nutritional supplements may prove to be particularly helpful for people with heart failure, the muscle-wasting condition known as sarcopenia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or other conditions characterized by energy defects. In fact, there are already some small studies in human to support that idea and BCAA supplements are already available for purchase in several countries, including Italy.

The challenge, Nisoli says, will be convincing clinicians that these supplements might be a benefit to their patients. He says a large clinical trial is needed, but there is little incentive for companies to do such trials for dietary supplements as opposed to drugs.

Overall, Nisoli said the new work supports a "general philosophy of a nutritional approach to disease, aging, and problems of energy status."

The researchers include Giuseppe D'Antona, Pavia University, Pavia, Italy; Maurizio Ragni, Milan University, Milan, Italy; Annalisa Cardile, Milan University, Milan, Italy; Laura Tedesco, Milan University, Milan, Italy, Brescia University, Brescia, Italy; Marta Dossena, Milan University, Milan, Italy, Brescia University, Brescia, Italy; Flavia Bruttini, Pavia University, Pavia, Italy; Francesca Caliaro, Pavia University, Pavia, Italy; Giovanni Corsetti, Brescia University, Brescia, Italy; Roberto Bottinelli, Pavia University, Pavia, Italy; Michele O. Carruba, Milan University, Milan, Italy, Brescia University, Brescia, Italy; Alessandra Valerio, Milan University, Milan, Italy, Brescia University, Brescia, Italy; and Enzo Nisoli, Milan University, Milan, Italy, Brescia University, Brescia, Italy.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cell Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Giuseppe D'Antona, Maurizio Ragni, Annalisa Cardile, Laura Tedesco, Marta Dossena, Flavia Bruttini, Francesca Caliaro, Giovanni Corsetti, Roberto Bottinelli, Michele O. Carruba, Alessandra Valerio, Enzo Nisoli. Branched-Chain Amino Acid Supplementation Promotes Survival and Supports Cardiac and Skeletal Muscle Mitochondrial Biogenesis in Middle-Aged Mice. Cell Metabolism, Volume 12, Issue 4, 362-372, 6 October 2010 DOI: 10.1016/j.cmet.2010.08.016

Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "Amino acid supplement makes mice live longer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101005121710.htm>.
Cell Press. (2010, October 5). Amino acid supplement makes mice live longer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 15, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101005121710.htm
Cell Press. "Amino acid supplement makes mice live longer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101005121710.htm (accessed September 15, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 15, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Respiratory Virus Spreads To Northeast, Now In 21 States

Respiratory Virus Spreads To Northeast, Now In 21 States

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) The respiratory virus Enterovirus D68, which targets children, has spread from the Midwest to 21 states. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Contagious Respiratory Illness Continues to Spread Across U.S.

Contagious Respiratory Illness Continues to Spread Across U.S.

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 12, 2014) Hundreds of children in several states have been stricken by a serious respiratory illness that is spreading across the U.S. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Batters Sierra Leone Economy Too

Ebola Batters Sierra Leone Economy Too

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 12, 2014) The World Health Organisation warns that local health workers in West Africa can't keep up with Ebola - and among those countries hardest hit by the outbreak, the economic damage is coming into focus, too. As David Pollard reports, Sierra Leone admits that growth in one of the poorest economies in the region is taking a beating. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins