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Supplement Lengthens LIfespan in Mice

Update Date: Feb 27, 2014 06:00 PM EST

New research reveals that triggering a protein called sirtuin 1 can promote longevity by delaying onset of age-related metabolic diseases and improving general health.

Previous studies show that Sirtuin 1, or SIRT1, plays an important role in maintaining metabolic balance in multiple tissues. Researchers have also shown that activating the protein can lead to many health benefits. Drugs that boost SIRT1 activity have been found to slow the onset of aging and age-associated diseases in several animal models.

In the latest study, mice were fed a standard diet supplemented with 100 mg/kg SRT1720 beginning at 6 months of age for the remainder of their lives. Researchers said the supplement is made up of a small molecule that activates SIRT1.

The findings revealed that the supplements significantly extended the average lifespan of mice by 8.8 percent. The SIRT1-activating supplement also reduced body weight and body fat percentage and improved muscle function and motor coordination.

Further analysis on various metabolic variables revealed that SRT1720 supplementation led to decreases in total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol levels, which could help protect against heart disease, and improvements in insulin sensitivity, which could help protect against diabetes. The supplements also demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects in various tissues, an important finding because low-grade chronic inflammation is believed to contribute to aging and age-related diseases.

"Here, we show for the first time that a synthetic SIRT1 activator extends lifespan and improves health span of mice fed a standard diet," lead researcher Dr. Rafael de Cabo of the National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health said in a news release. "It illustrates that we can develop molecules that ameliorate the burden of metabolic and chronic diseases associated with aging."

The findings are published in the journal Cell Reports

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