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28.10.2010


BCAAs extend lifespan in animal study

BCAAs extend lifespan in animal study
The amino acid supplement BigOne is popular among Italian endurance athletes. [bigonerunners.com] Italian researchers mixed BigOne in the drinking water of their lab mice and found that the animals lived ten percent longer.

In the ageing process cells are no longer able to produce enough energy and therefore cannot protect themselves against free radicals. Caloric restriction delays the ageing process, but for many people a diet where the energy intake is reduced by a fifth or more is out of the question.

The Italians discovered from previous studies that branched-chain amino acids offer protection against some of the effects of ageing. So that's why they decided to look at whether the BCAAs in BigOne would extend the lifespan of adult male rats.

The composition of BigOne is listed below. The animals were given 1.5 g BCAAs per kg bodyweight/day. The figure and the table below describe the life-extending effect of the BCAAs.


BCAAs extend lifespan in animal study

BCAAs extend lifespan in animal study


WT = ordinary mice; eNOS-/- = mice unable to manufacture the enzyme NOS-synthase. The latter mice died relatively young from heart failure. The BCAAs had little influence on them.

The researchers got some of the mice to run in a treadmill five days a week for a period of four weeks. In these mice, as well as in the inactive mice, the BCAAs boosted the production of the life-extending SIRT1 and protective enzymes in muscle and heart cells.


BCAAs extend lifespan in animal study

BCAAs extend lifespan in animal study


The BCAAs activated the molecular switch PGC-1-alpha. This caused the mice to make more mitochondria in their cells and as a result they were able to run for longer in an exhaustion test.


BCAAs extend lifespan in animal study

BCAAs extend lifespan in animal study


The researcher leader, Enzo Nisoli, has speculated in interviews that people could live longer if they take BCAAs over the age of 60. "I think that after 60 or 65 years of age, people in a good state of health might start the consumption of this mixture as a preventive strategy", says Nisoli. [thespec.com Oct 06 2010] [Offline] Nisoli wants to repeat his animal experiments on people.

Source:
Cell Metab. 2010 Oct 6; 12(4): 362-72.

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