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Dietary restriction may contribute to longer lifespan: Study

Thursday April 19, 2018 5:41 PM, & Agencies

Dietary Restriction

London: By limiting the activity of a group of proteins, researchers found that lifespan in flies was extended, suggesting that a moderate reduction in food intake could protect against multiple ageing-related diseases, according to a study released Tuesday by the University College London (UCL).

The UCL-led team investigated how limiting a group of proteins, called GATA TFs, extends the lifespans of flies and which tissues are important for this longevity effect. GATA TFs play important roles in health across animals including humans, Xinhua reported.

They used fruit flies as their model organism and restricted the amount of protein, in the form of amino acids, in the flies' diet to extend life. They then measured how this affected transcription, the essential process by which information from genes in DNA is used to make proteins, in the brain, gut, fat, muscle and ovaries in female flies.

"When we reduced the activity of this transcription factor in adult flies, we reproduced the extension to lifespan seen when we reduced protein by up to 10 percent," said first author of the study, Dr. Adam Dobson, UCL Institute of Healthy Ageing.

"Our study suggests that this transcription factor family plays a role in how lifespan changes when dietary protein is reduced. Because this same gene is also found in mice and humans we think this may be a fundamentally important new insight into the way ageing is controlled in response to diet," explained co-author Dr. Matthew Piper, from the Monash School of Biological Sciences and previously of UCL.

The study has been published in the journal NPJ Aging and Mechanisms of Disease.

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