In an interesting study conducted by researchers at the USC Leonard Davis School of gerontology it was determined that humanin, a peptide encoded in the small genome of mitochondria which is the powerhouse of the cell, is responsible not only for longevity, but for good health.
The study found that children of centenarians had higher levels of humanin then children of non-centenarians. They also found that people with Alzheimer’s disease had lower levels of humanin.
In animals, humanin is found from worms to mammals. The naked mole rate has a very high level and lives up to 30 years. What is also interesting, the researchers found that for both people and animals, those who had higher levels of humanin had fewer offspring.
Researchers are looking into ways to use this information to help people have longer and healthier lives. What I wonder is if they will find a way to increase the lives of animals as well as make them healthier. Imagine being able to help those breeds of dogs that have shorter life spans and medical problems live a longer, healthier life. Both people and animals would benefit.
- Kelvin Yen, Hemal H. Mehta, Su-Jeong Kim, YanHe Lue, James Hoang, Noel Guerrero, Jenna Port, Qiuli Bi, Gerardo Navarrete, Sebastian Brandhorst, Kaitlyn Noel Lewis, Junxiang Wan, Ronald Swerdloff, Julie A. Mattison, Rochelle Buffenstein, Carrie V. Breton, Christina Wang, Valter Longo, Gil Atzmon, Douglas Wallace, Nir Barzilai, Pinchas Cohen. The mitochondrial derived peptide humanin is a regulator of lifespan and healthspan. Aging, 2020; DOI: 10.18632/aging.103534
University of Southern California. “Protein in mitochondria appears to regulate health and longevity.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 June 2020. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/06/200624151613.htm
Note that Science Daily has changed their format. To find this article google the name of the article with “science daily” after it.