by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – Israeli scientists have been able to increase the life expectancy of mice by 23%, and believe this outcome could one day be translatable to humans, the Times of Israel reports. The peer-reviewed research was a collaboration between international scientists, including Prof. Rafael de Cabo from the US National Institutes of Health, and has been published in the journal Nature Communications.
In conducting the research, the scientists gave 250 mice an increased supply of SIRT6, a protein that normally decreases with aging, the Times of Israel said. These mice were subsequently found to have a longer life expectancy – and also appeared more youthful and less vulnerable to cancer.
“The change in life expectancy is significant when you consider that an equivalent jump in human life expectancy would have us living on average until almost 120,” Prof. Haim Cohen of Bar-Ilan University told the Times of Israel. “The changes we saw in mice may be translatable to humans, and if so that would be exciting,” he said.
The researchers also discovered that older SIRT6-rich mice were able to generate energy from fats and lactic acid after a short fast – something standard mice normally struggle to do, the Times of Israel said. Moreover, the protein-rich mice had lower cholesterol, had a lower incidence of cancer, and were able to run faster than regular mice.
“This discovery shows that SIRT6 controls the rate of healthy aging, and this shows that boosting its activity could potentially slow aging,” Cohen said. At the same time, Cohen said the tools by which to translate these findings to humans do not yet exist.
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