[Video] – The 9 Causes of Aging, Episode 6, Nutrient Detection – with Dr. Guilhem Velvé Casquillas
The sixth cause of aging that we are addressing is related to the malfunction over time of the nutrient detection chain. But what causes this mechanism to malfunction?
Nutrient detection sensing
In cells, nutrient detection pathways adapt the behaviour of your cells and their metabolic activity to the amount of nutrients available to your cells.
Roughly speaking, at the level of the body, if there is not enough to eat, the body tends to reduce the animal’s sexual appetite and put the body in survival mode so that it can live longer and reproduce in better times. A similar phenomenon occurs at the cell level.
Caloric restriction is the only scientifically validated method to increase healthy life expectancy in all mammals tested. This increase can lead to a 30% increase in life expectancy, for example in some primates.
Nutrient detection concerns, not surprisingly, signaling pathways related to insulin and glucose detection on the cell surface. This also applies to the kinds of central switches that are the AMPK enzyme, which detects nutrient scarcity, and the mTOR complex, which detects amino acid abundance. Sirtuins are also central switches that detect low energy states by detecting the concentration of NAD+: remember, NAD+ which is also the fuel for proteins that repair DNA…
To sum it up, this link between nutrient detection and longevity explains why some diabetes drugs, such as metformin, appear to prolong life through the activation of AMPK in worms and mice, and some studies are encouraging regarding its effect on humans. More comprehensive studies are underway on this subject.