Blocking Fat Transport In The Body Could Lead To Longer Lifespans

Recently published research out of Brown University has shown that in nematode worms, a protein that transports fat in the body can block processes in the cell that leads to reduced lifespan.

One of the body’s naturally occurring proteins is called apolipoprotein B (apoB). In the past, therapies have focused at minimizing apoB in order to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Nematodes have a similar protein with the same functions called vitellogenin (VIT). When scientists genetically blocked the production of VIT they found that nematodes lived much longer, in some cases 40 percent longer.

Further investigation into VIT shows that this protein can prevent longer life span in cells by impairing the ability of fat remodeling for healthy purposes. Lipophagy is the named used for the breakdown of fats to be reused for other purposes, and VIT hinders this process.

Other things can affect apoB levels such as food consumption. For example, mice that were on calorie-restricted diets showed lower levels of apoB. Currently research is underway to see if similar findings can be seen in humans, but these preliminary findings highlight a promising link between this protein and longevity.

Nicole E. Seah, C. Daniel de Magalhaes Filho, Anna P. Petrashen, Hope R. Henderson, Jade Laguer, Julissa Gonzalez, Andrew Dillin, Malene Hansen, Louis R. Lapierre. Autophagy-mediated longevity is modulated by lipoprotein biogenesis. Autophagy, 2015; 00 DOI: 10.1080/15548627.2015.1127464

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