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Longevity

Researchers More than Double Worms Lifespan

21 years, 4 months ago

9056  0
Posted on Oct 14, 2002, 6 a.m. By Bill Freeman

Researchers have more than doubled the lifespan of worms by simply depriving them of a micronutrient called coenzyme Q. Drs. Pamela L Larsen and Catherine F Clarke found that adult worms fed on a coenzyme Q diet lived 59% longer than those fed a normal diet. Coenzyme Q is an antioxidant that helps to transport electrons during cellular respiration, however Larsen and Clarke say that their results suggest that the substance may also have a "pro-oxidant" effect.

Researchers have more than doubled the lifespan of worms by simply depriving them of a micronutrient called coenzyme Q. Drs. Pamela L Larsen and Catherine F Clarke found that adult worms fed on a coenzyme Q diet lived 59% longer than those fed a normal diet. Coenzyme Q is an antioxidant that helps to transport electrons during cellular respiration, however Larsen and Clarke say that their results suggest that the substance may also have a "pro-oxidant" effect. If this is true, reducing the animals' consumption of coenzyme Q may extend lifespan by lowering oxidative damage to cells. However, the researchers say that it is not possible to lengthen the animals' lifespan simply by feeding them a coenzyme Q-free diet from birth, as worms fed such a diet were found to be significantly more likely to develop reproductive defects.

SOURCE/REFERENCE: Science 2001; 295:120-123

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