SCIENTISTS HAVE a discovered a ’long life’ gene amongst human beings, which triples the chances of living for 100 years.
The gene identified as FOXO3A has important implications on prolonging the life span of people. Researchers said that the gene not only ensures longevity amongst individuals but also ensures that they suffer less risk of age-related diseases and disabilities. – merinews
Long-lived men also presented several additional phenotypes linked to healthy aging, including lower prevalence of cancer and cardiovascular disease, better self-reported health, and high physical and cognitive function, despite significantly older ages than controls. Several of these aging phenotypes were associated with FOXO3A genotype. Long-lived men also exhibited several biological markers indicative of greater insulin sensitivity and this was associated with homozygosity for the FOXO3A GG genotype. – pnas, colinf
… The gene, labeled FOXO3A, was identified by Kuakini Medical Center and Pacific Health Research Institute investigators. They studied biological specimens and clinical data collected and maintained at Kuakini since 1965 on 8,006 Japanese-American men recruited for the Honolulu Heart Program and Honolulu-Asia Aging study.
… No other study has been done so long or in such detail on such a large group of men, Willcox said. About 1,000 are still living, ranging from 89 to 107 years old, he said. …
“We then calculated how the DNA bases found at three locations on each gene were correlated with a comprehensive set of health criteria, including chronic diseases, disability and insulin levels.”
The results were “very surprising and exciting,” he said.
One location on the FOXO3A gene stood out, he said. Of the four chemical bases in the DNA code – adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C) and thymine (T) – most participants had the base T on both chromosomes at that location, he said.
But those who had the G base instead of T when they were originally examined had better health, he said. And 15 years later the G base was more prominent in men who averaged 98 years old than those who reached only an average age of 78, suggesting it was a factor in survival, Willcox said.
The researchers also found those who were carriers of the G allele (an alternative form of a gene) doubled their chances of living an average 98 years and some as long as 106 years. Men who had two G copies almost tripled their odds of living nearly a century and were healthier at older ages, according to the study. – starb
So really, what this study has found is that FOXO3A is a master regulator of the many little genes that have been implicated in ageing. Which was already expected based on homology, but it turns out this is really true in humans. And with a very strong correlation too – now we just have to investigate this further. Does it have this effect in women? Can we extend the lifespan of mice by genetic interventions, perhaps changing the alleles of this gene? And will this allow us to extend human lifespan past 100-120 years? – hplus
… the “survivor” version of the gene was associated with significantly lower fasting insulin and a reduced risk of heart disease. … maintaining good insulin sensitivity is a prerequisite for membership of the hard-core grey hair brigade… researchers argue that FOXO3A probably influences life expectancy primarily through an effect on insulin regulation, which fits plausibly with its known role in the insulin signaling pathway. – sciblogs
This is all interesting, but what can we DO about it? In my next post I’ll investigate how to increase your insulin sensitivity.