Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Eat up all your isotopes, kids

Research suggests fortified food could help resist ageing

This has to be one of the oddest ideas I have ever heard:

Fortifying food with specially developed proteins could make our bodies more resistant to the ageing process, according to a former Oxford University scientist.

Steaks and chicken fillets laced with rare, heavy forms of elements - "isotope-enhanced" proteins - could strengthen cells and protect them against oxidation, caused by highly-reactive particles, free radicals, that are released in the body as a by-product of biological processes in our cells. Many researchers believe free-radical oxidation is a major cause of ageing.

In small-scale studies, Mikhail Shchepinov found nematode worms - used extensively in ageing research - lived 10% longer when fed nutrients enriched with a heavy isotope of hydrogen, deuterium.



Caz said...

Given that the great free radical "killers" - vits A, E, C - proved to be disastrous in major studies, that is, so bad they had to abandon the studies, on more than on occasion, I would be VERY wary of anyone fortifying my bloody food.

From previous studies, it would seem that we don't understand the purpose of free radicals, and that they might serve a useful purpose in some manner, even though they would seem to be part of the aging process.

They're dicing with something they don't quite understand.

BTW - people in trials getting their Vit A, E, C supplements got cancer at much higher rates than the control groups, hence why at least two studies were abandoned. People were dying!!!!

Caz said...

Besides, if you really want to live longer you basically stop eating, or almost, so the theory goes. It works for rats put on starvation diets. There are people who live on less than a 1000 calories a day, in the belief they will live longer. They'll be grumpy, but alive, I suppose.

Sorry for inarticulate comments. Tired and emotional. :-D