Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Low-Carb And Longevity

Read the whole thing, but if you want the highlights:

"Professor Cynthia Kenyon, whom many experts believe should win the Nobel Prize for her research into ageing, has discovered that the carbohydrates we eat — from bananas and potatoes to bread, pasta, biscuits and cakes — directly affect two key genes that govern youthfulness and longevity....

"...But what Professor Kenyon found out was why ­drastically reducing calories has such a remarkable effect.

"She discovered that it changed the way two crucial genes behaved. It turned down the gene that controls insulin, which in turn switched on another gene, which acted like an elixir of life....

"...To test this, last year she added a tiny amount of ­sugary glucose to the normal diet of some of her worms that had had their genes engineered so they were living much longer, healthier lives.

"The effect was remarkable,’ she says. ‘The sugary glucose blocked the “youthful” genes and they lost most of the health gains.’...

"...In fact raised insulin levels, triggered by high carbohydrate ­consumption, could be what connects many of our big killers.

"Research is at its early stage, but raised insulin triggers an increase in cholesterol production in the liver, makes the walls of blood vessels ­contract so blood pressure goes up and stimulates the release of fats called triglycerides (linked to heart disease)....

"...But Professor Kenyon herself doesn’t need convincing.

"'Carbo­hydrates, and especially refined ones like sugar, make you produce lots of extra insulin. I’ve been keeping my intake really low ever since I discovered this.'"
I'll note that if you've been paying attention to the 'anecdotes' coming from the low-carb and paleo worlds, none of the stuff in this article will be a surprise to you.

Via Primal Wisdom. Jimmy Moore's take is here.