Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Insulin, Glucose, Grim Reaper and Sweet Sixteen gene

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Important new reasearch published just recently by Cynthia Kenyon, University of California, described in the following Oct-26,2010 Daily Mail article (Jerome Burne):

Can cutting carbohydrates from your diet make you live longer?

Quotes:


She made her remarkable breakthrough after studying roundworms, specifically the C.elegans, a worm just a millimetre in size that lives in soil in temperate climates all over the world. By tweaking some of their genes she has been able to help these worms live up to six times longer than normal. 'Not only that, but we also know how to make them stay healthy all that time as well,' she told an audience at the Wellcome Collection in London earlier this month.
...
Scientists already knew how to make laboratory animals live longer and healthier lives - you just cut back their calories to about three-quarters of their normal amount.  ... But what Professor Kenyon found out was why ­drastically reducing calories has such a remarkable effect. She discovered that it changed the way two crucial genes behaved. It turned down the gene that controls insulin, which in turn switched on another gene, which acted like an elixir of life.  'We jokingly called the first gene the Grim Reaper because when it’s switched on, the lifespan is fairly short,' she explains.  The ­second 'elixir' gene seems to bring all the anti-ageing benefits - its proper name is DAF 16, but it was quickly nicknamed 'Sweet Sixteen' because it turned the worms into teenagers.
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Discovering the Grim Reaper gene has prompted the professor to ­dramatically alter her own diet, ­cutting right back on carbohydrates. That’s because carbs make your body produce more insulin (to mop up the extra blood sugar carbs ­produce); and more insulin means a more active Grim Reaper.  So the vital second gene, the 'elixir' one, won't get turned on.

To test this, last year she added a tiny amount of ­sugary glucose to the normal diet of some of her worms that had had their genes engineered so they were living much longer, healthier lives.  'The effect was remarkable,' she says. 'The sugary glucose blocked the ''youthful'' genes and they lost most of the health gains.'
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Following Kenyon’s lead, other researchers started looking for the Grim Reaper/ Sweet Sixteen combination in other animals — and of course in humans.

They found it.

One clue came from a small remote community of dwarves living in northern Ecuador who are cancer-free. They are missing the part of the Grim Reaper gene that controls a hormone called insulin-like growth factor. The downside is they only grow to 4ft tall because the hormone is needed for growth.  But this missing bit of the Grim Reaper gene also means they don’t develop cancer and are less likely to suffer from heart disease or obesity.

Professor Jeff Holly, who specialises in insulin-like growth factor, confirms that it is linked to cancer of the prostate, breast and colon.  In fact raised insulin levels, triggered by high carbohydrate ­consumption, could be what ­connects many of our big killers. Research is at its early stage, but raised insulin triggers an increase in cholesterol production in the liver, makes the walls of blood vessels ­contract so blood pressure goes up and stimulates the release of fats called triglycerides (linked to heart disease).
...
'Carbo­hydrates, and especially refined ones like sugar, make you produce lots of extra insulin. I’ve been keeping my intake really low ever since I discovered this. I've cut out all starch such as potatoes, noodles, rice, bread and pasta. Instead I have salads, but no sweet dressing, lots of olive oil and nuts, tons of green vegetables along with cheese, chicken and eggs. I'll have a hamburger without a bun and fish without batter or chips. I eat some fruit every day, but not too much and almost no processed food. I stay away from sweets, except 80 per cent chocolate.'

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Refs (older, not this one):

http://kenyonlab.ucsf.edu/html/history.html

http://kenyonlab.ucsf.edu/Kenyon_et_al_Nature.pdf




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4 comments :

Andreboco said...

Stan, Andre here. The guy is a believer and quoted back propoganda on the Pritikin Web as evidence. I was not only indicting Pritikin, but the entire low fat/no fat mentality that has driven us into the mess we are in...myself included. I worked at Pritikin for 6 years, It is a program of less than 10% fat...no visible fat, 30 minutes on a treadmill and yoga. Pritikin got it right on the yoga. The rest is not very effective. The people that come to Pritikin are ones who have suffered a health crisis. Heart attack, stroke, Diabetes Overweight...etc. They all eat SAD and the addition of exercise, YOGA and a more vegetable based diet than the typical horrible SAD is an improvement. However, is it the optimal diet for Diabetics and the rest. NO. You dont feed something that turns into sugar to a person that is carbohydrate intolerant. It doesnt matter what you or I call it as we eat it. bread, pasta, potatoe , carrot etc...whatever is not fiber will turn to sugar.

As far as the insulin Diabetics there is no getting Type 1s off. They must be Type 2s on Insulin. No Type 2 should be on insulin...period. Clean up the diet, eat high fat, moderate protein, low carb and you can get off all meds. I no longer drink the cool aid. I am independant. I believe my meter, Dr. Bernstein, Dr. Rosedale. They have gotten me health, not by eating a better diet than SAD, but by optimizing my diet. I don't argue with people who are true believers. 15 years ago you couldn't convince me that Pritikin was wrong. Now, after Type 2 to Type 1 , I know he was wrong. Not about YOGA though. We would see BP drop 30-40 points after 1 class. By the way, Pritikin died of Luekemia. When you drop your cholesterol your Cancer rate and risk go up. Either way, death is death. Thanx for bringing it to my attention. I am only a servant trying my best to get the word of truth on diet out. Dr. Rosedale is the true prophet. All the C Elegans research you just posted was suggested by Dr. Rosedale when he met C Kenyon. She does credit him a little. I am a fan of your blog and look forward to conversation with you.

Stan (Heretic) said...

Hi Andre,

You are very welcome, in fact I strongly encouraged you to post more comments on your blog, this one or any other. With your unique first hand experience with two opposing nutrition paradigms, and two cultures (US and India) - it is a valuable knowledge, to share!

Regards,
Stan

P.S.

Dr. Rosedale's "Insulin..." article was the one article that made the first and the lasting impression on me 10 years ago just after I started my life-changing experiment with the LC. It is true what you said!

Andreboco said...

Stan, I liked this quote from Denise Meninger...
And then there’s the claim that the Plant-Based-Diet Doctor Cronies (Esselstyn, McDougall, Fuhrman, Ornish, Barnard, et al) have “proven” that veganism trumps meat eating — when in reality what they’ve shown is that cutting out processed foods, refined grains, “corn sugar,” and vegetable oils brings marked health improvements over the junky cuisine most people eat. No shocker there. The Standard American Diet is the epicenter of everything you can do wrong with food, so any direction you move away from it is bound to bring positive changes (at least initially).

Stan (Heretic) said...

Andre,

Absolutely! Another important factor (this is my belief, I cannot strictly prove it) is too frequent snacking which (on high carb) prevents the body from engaging ketogenic metabolism. I wrote about that here

This may also apply to impoverished nations - it may be not only what and how much they eat but how frequently.

Once they move away from the artificiality a la Western Food Business, people may be just getting better in spite not because of veganism or anything.

Still phytotoxins plus lack of nutrients, or calories or both, in most plant based diets, do eventually bite them back, though in a different way than on SAD.

That person (EG) I mentioned in my first message on your blog, has been on the Pritikin like diet (plus jogging everyday and all that) for 30 years, yet his arterial occlusions (in his neck arteries) came out progressing, smilar to the average in his age group! It begun noticeably reversing on Fuhrnam's diet only in the last couple of years. What is the difference? Less starch and more nuts!

Regards,
Stan