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What metabolism could reveal about aging and mortality

Date:
October 14, 2015
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Why some people live much longer than others is an enduring mystery. Now, based on a study of a worm, scientists are getting one step closer to understanding longevity. They report that the metabolic profiles of the worms could accurately predict how long they would live and that middle age could be a key turning point.
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Examining worm metabolism has yielded new insights into why some live longer than others.
Credit: National Institutes of Health

Why some people live much longer than others is an enduring mystery. Now, based on a study of a worm, scientists are getting one step closer to understanding longevity. They report in ACS' Journal of Proteome Research that the metabolic profiles of the worms could accurately predict how long they would live and that middle age could be a key turning point.

Other than addressing our curiosity -- and apprehensions -- about growing old, predicting longevity has practical applications for life insurance companies, retirement investing and health care planning. Current techniques that estimate how long people will live weigh a number of factors, including geographical location, family medical histories and lifestyle choices. To improve these predictions, researchers have started drawing from genetics, but DNA only tells part of the story. To fill in more blanks, Armand M. Leroi studied the metabolic profiles of the tiny worm Caenorhabditis elegans to see if they could find patterns related to life expectancy.

The researchers compared metabolic changes in normal worms with those of long-lived ones that had a genetic mutation. By profiling 26 metabolites, they could predict the worms' lifespans. The team also found that the two types of worms aged at different rates. When the worms with a normal lifespan hit middle age, their metabolic profiles indicated that they started getting older about 40 percent faster than when their long-lived counterparts hit middle age. The researchers say further work is needed to investigate how this happens.


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Materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sarah K. Davies, Jacob G. Bundy, Armand M. Leroi. Metabolic Youth in Middle Age: Predicting Aging inCaenorhabditis elegansUsing Metabolomics. Journal of Proteome Research, 2015; 151013104655009 DOI: 10.1021/acs.jproteome.5b00442

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "What metabolism could reveal about aging and mortality." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 October 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/10/151014121108.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2015, October 14). What metabolism could reveal about aging and mortality. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 24, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/10/151014121108.htm
American Chemical Society. "What metabolism could reveal about aging and mortality." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/10/151014121108.htm (accessed May 24, 2017).

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