Can the human lifespan be extended? Scientists have been researching ways to answer this question. Previous studies have shown that there is a possible connection between a reduced protein diet intake and improved health, including the extension of the human lifespan. It is known that feeding on a diet that contains a reasonably low proportion of protein can improve health. In opposition, consuming a diet that is highly packed with protein has been linked to a high death rate in certain age groups. A recent study carried out by Pennington Biomedical Research Center reveals the reason behind the above-stated connection.
The study led by Cristal M. Hill, a postdoctoral researcher, uncovered that the increased metabolic rates, improved health, and consequently lifespan increase, is as a result of the presence of the hormone – FGF21 in the bloodstream. Fibroblast Growth Factor 21 ( FGF21), is a metabolic hormone that is secreted by the liver and is known to regulate the metabolism of carbohydrates and lipids in the body. The team discovered that the hormone sends a signal to the brain, stimulating it in a way that shuts down the part of the brain that responds to protein increase in the body – this way, the body fails to ‘know’ that protein proportion is low.
FGF21 vs protein intake in mice
The team studied three different age groups of mice – aged, middle-aged, and young – with the aim being to observe the effect of the hormone’s presence during the intake of low-protein diets in all three groups. The study on the aged group of mice revealed a healthier group of mice that looked much younger, increasing their lifespan; the study on the middle-aged group revealed similar effects, including defense against obesity in the mice; for the young-aged group, the team observed an increase in their metabolism rate.
After much observation, the team confirmed that the consumption of diets containing a reduced amount of protein not only increases metabolism and improves health, but also increases lifespan. However, since this study involved mice and not humans, the team is still carrying out more research and testing to confirm that the results would be the same in humans. If this works out, and it is replicated in humans, maybe, just maybe, the human lifespan can be extended too.
Findings from the study show that it is possible to extend the human lifespan, while also improving health and metabolic activities.
Thanks to this team of scientists for their amazing discovery. Every day, we come closer to a world where people may be able to live longer than they currently do.