Thursday, August 2, 2007

Scientists discover the perfect diet

Eat all you want, stay slim, live longer.

Via Nature, we learn that scientists may have stumbled upon a significant breakthrough in life extension while researching heart health.

Researchers have created a mutant mouse that lives longer despite eating more and weighing less — all thanks to the loss of a single protein.

Without this protein, the body is less susceptible to the heart-pounding effects of the hormone adrenaline, and may become more resistant to some forms of stress.

Currently, the main focus of ageing research is on using calorie restriction as a way of activating a metabolic 'fountain of youth'. The new discovery, that knocking out a single cardiac gene could lengthen lifespan, was an unexpected byproduct of heart research.

But in the process, the research team also realised that the mutant mice lived longer than their normal counterparts. Now, in a paper published in Cell this week2, they report that the treated mice lived 30% longer and did not develop the heart stress and bone deterioration that often accompanies ageing.

If this can be extended to humans, it's pretty much the world's dream diet. It's also guaranteed to be more popular than the current leading contender for life extension: Extreme calorie restriction demands a life-long regimen of near starvation.

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