If only there was a pill that allowed you to eat whatever you want and still be healthy and not get overweight.
Well.., there just might be.
And it might be simpler than you think.
It has been known for a while now that health-span can be maximised via a good diet.
But what specifically is it about a healthy diet that can potentially increase lifespan and health?
It turns out that one of the key things to reduce is an amino acid called Methionine.
Methionine restriction causes a decrease in the amounts of an energy-regulating hormone called IGF-1. And it is too much of this hormone that has a negative effect on fat storage in the body and lifespan.
Mice are surprisingly close in reaction to experiments to humans. Research has shown that mice who have a diet restricted in this amino acid are less prone to obesity and have a longer lifespan.
Previous research has also shown that supplementing with selenium reduces the levels of this IGF-1 hormone in rats (mousey’s bigger cousin).
So could the cause effect be close enough to get the same health benefits without restricting the diet?
It turns out that it can in both mice and yeast.
Yeast is used to test lifespan due to how fast it grows and then dies. With selenium supplementation the yeast lived 62% longer.
Mice fed a normal diet including fat that were supplemented with selenium showed the same lack of body fat storage and health markers in their blood as those who had the restricted diet.
And all indications are that this beneficial effect will translate to humans just as the diet restriction of this Methionine does.
Great news for those of us who for whatever reason can’t or don’t eat a restricted diet (for example a vegan diet).
Selenium is also associated with the immune system and due to excessive farming is depleted in our soils.
So an easy to use supplement is a good way to ensure enough of this vital nutrient.
This doesn’t mean you can pig out of KFC every day and be healthy. But it does potentially mean you can better protect yourself from the negative effect of certain foods.
Good to know and potentially exciting news in the quest for longer healthier lives.