Obese mice fed artifical enzyme live longer

26 August 2011

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Category: Research & medical benefits

pork–bacon–butty–sandwhich.jpgA new artificial enzyme(SRT1720) has been found to increase the lifespan of obese mice. The study also found that health factors linked to a fatty diet, such as liver disease and insulin resistance, were improved.

Previous studies have identified a gene called Sirt1, which improves metabolism and delays the onset of age-related diseases in mammals. This gene can be turned on by SRT1720. Scientists wanted to know if SRT1720 could make mice fed on a high fat diet live longer and have healthier lives.

Mice were treated with a high or low dose of SRT1720 and fed a high fat diet. These mice lived significantly longer than mice fed on the same diet but not given SRT1720. Furthermore, the high dose mice lived longer than the low dose mice.

SRT1720 appeared to protect the mice from the bad effects of a high fat diet. Mice fed a fatty diet showed more signs of liver disease than those fed the same diet and treated with SRT1720. The treated mice also did not show signs of type 2 diabetes.The researchers believe that liver cells were protected because SRT1720 turns on the Sirt1 gene in these cells. Sirt1 improved sugar metabolism, increased the cell's defences and prevented cell self-destructing (apoptosis).

Even though all mice fed on a high fat diet became obese, SRT1720 protected those that were given it from some of the internal effects such a diet can have on the body. The researchers also found that SRT1720 was not toxic to the mice even after 80 weeks of treatment.