The age itself is a risk factor for numerous ailments such as cancer, heart disease, and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. Exercise and a healthy diet are rightly recommended in many cases as a preventive. But what exactly does a healthy diet actually healthy and why as a result, the life expectancy can be extended, still applies today in many areas as not sufficiently understood. An international research team, the solution to this puzzle has come a huge step closer.
International Researchers, with the participation of the University of Greifswald were able to develop thanks to the latest technology, a method that changes within proteins can be measured. The modified proteins play an important role in the development of serious diseases and for a healthy aging process. By measuring these changes, the Team wants to unravel the mysteries of healthy aging permanently. The results of the study were recently presented in the prestigious scientific journal “Nature Communications”.
Already at the beginning of the 1930s, Researchers have detected in experiments with rats, that a restricted calorie intake increases the life expectancy of mammals. Today, not only the number of calories, but also the composition of the food for the positive aspect will be made on the life span and the health condition responsible. The underlying mechanisms of why these effects occur are not well understood on the molecular level, but until today. Within the last ten years numerous studies on the aging process due to the enormous progress in the quantitative mass spectrometry, the amino acid lysine as the key has crystallized factor for a healthy ageing.
Lysine is an amino acid within proteins. It acts as a building block for many different proteins and is, for example, in enzymes, in blood plasma, antibodies, hormones, bones, skin, Tendons and in the muscles. Because the body lysine can not produce itself, must be added to the amino acid via food. As the researchers report, it is used in diseases such as cancer and neurodegenerative diseases to changes in the proteins. These changes relate in particular to the lysine. In the course of the disease of chemical modifications are attached to this amino acid, the change in the basic function of the entire Protein. The research team that will foster the development of serious diseases.
“In the past, it was not possible to determine the quantities of this modification of the Lysines in all the proteins of a cell,” explained study Director, Professor Dr. Michael Lammers in a press release of the study results. By the newly developed method it is now feasible. As a result, the Points can be found, which are of high relevance and in the case of diseases changed.
“We will now be able to find targeted proteins, a therapeutic approach is promising,” says the Professor. The researchers consider it even to be possible, the positive effects of a healthy diet with an active compound imitate, without a strict control of diet is necessary. (vb)