(ORDO NEWS) — A study by British and German scientists has shown that maintaining normal blood iron levels can be a key factor in slowing aging and increasing longevity. The work was published in the journal Nature Communications.
Biologists from the University of Edinburgh, in collaboration with colleagues from the Max Planck Institute for the Biology of Aging in Germany, have studied three factors associated with biological aging using genetic methods: total life expectancy; years of life without disease, or a period of health; and the phenomenon of extreme longevity.
Biological aging is the rate at which the body builds up irreversible changes that lead to fatal diseases such as heart disease, dementia, or cancer.
The researchers combined anonymous information from three public databases Zenodo, Edinburgh DataShare and Longevity Genomics to obtain a sample of 1.75 million people to estimate life expectancy and over 60,000 centenarians.
Scientists analyzed summary statistics on the general genome, life expectancy of people themselves and their parents, and identified genetic variations associated, respectively, with total life expectancy, health period and longevity.
It turned out that gene sets – genomic loci responsible for normal iron levels – were represented in all three groups. From this, the authors concluded that genes involved in the metabolism of iron in the blood are largely responsible for healthy long life. Statistically, they confirmed this relationship by a mathematical analysis known as Mendeleev’s randomization.
“These findings strongly suggest that too high blood iron levels shorten healthy life, and that controlling iron levels can prevent age-related damage,” lead study author Dr. Paul Timmers of the Center for Global Healthcare said in a press release. Research at the University of Edinburgh – We hypothesize that our findings on iron metabolism may explain why premature aging is associated with an abundance of iron-rich red meat in the diet.
Iron in the blood depends on diet, and abnormally high or low levels of iron in the blood lead to Parkinson’s disease, liver disease and a decrease in the body’s ability to fight infections with age.
“Our ultimate goal is to figure out how aging is regulated and find ways to improve health in old age,” said study author Dr. Joris Deelen of the Max Planck Institute for the Biology of Aging. those related to overall life expectancy, health and longevity are interesting candidates for further study. ”
The authors hope that the results of their research in the future will help create a drug that mimics the genetic effect on iron metabolism, which will become a tool for the prevention of age-related diseases and increase the chances of living to old age without diseases.
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