…scientists were able to show that longevity and fertility are affected by a combination of the type and amount of amino acids; whilst varying the amount of the other nutrients had little or no effect. Furthermore, the researchers found out in previous studies that levels of a particular amino acid – methionine – were crucial to increasing lifespan without decreasing fertility. By carefully manipulating the balance of amino acids, both lifespan and fertility were maximised. For the first time, this indicates that it is possible to extend lifespan without wholesale dietary restriction and without lowering reproductive capacity.
As the effects of dietary restriction on lifespan is evolutionary conserved – observed in different organisms – researchers believe that the essential mechanisms apply to it as well. Even though the human genome has about four times the number of genes as the fruit fly genome, there are many similarities on a genetic level, allowing these results to be of significance for humans as well.
What were the optimal levels of methionine?