Cutting back on the essentials: Can manipulating intake of specific amino acids modulate health and lifespan?

Holly M. Brown-Borg, Rochelle Buffenstein

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

With few exceptions, nutritional and dietary interventions generally impact upon both old-age quality of life and longevity. The life prolonging effects, commonly observed with dietary restriction reportedly are linked to alterations in protein intake and specifically limiting the dietary intake of certain essential amino acids. There is however a paucity of data methodically evaluating the various essential amino acids on health- and lifespan and the mechanisms involved. Rodent diets containing either lower methionine content, or tryptophan, than that found in commercially available chow, appear to elicit beneficial effects. It is unclear whether all of these favorable effects associated with restricted intake of methionine and tryptophan are due to their specific unique properties or if restriction of other essential amino acids, or proteins in general, may produce similar results. Considerably more work remains to be done to elucidate the mechanisms by which limiting these vital molecules may delay the onset of age-associated diseases and improve quality of life at older ages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-95
Number of pages9
JournalAgeing Research Reviews
Volume39
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Delayed aging
  • Dwarf mice
  • Healthspan
  • Methionine restriction
  • Naked mole-rat
  • Tryptophan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Aging
  • Molecular Biology
  • Neurology

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