(ORDO NEWS) — Ceramides are often included in skin care products, but now scientists have found that they play a big role in muscle weakening as we age.
In older mice, muscle cells are literally clogged with ceramides, which leads to their physical weakness.
Ceramides play an important role in our body, primarily as a component of cell membranes that provide cell protection. Not surprisingly, they are included in many skin care products – creams, soaps and shampoos.
However, now researchers from the Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne (Switzerland) have found that these substances play a big role in one unpleasant process – senile weakening of the muscles.
Like humans, lab mice become weak and lethargic as they age, and their muscles become literally clogged with ceramides.
It turned out that this is due to a malfunction in the proteins necessary for the conversion of fatty acids and amino acids into ceramides.
“Broken” proteins become extremely active and produce more ceramides than the body normally needs.
But is it possible to somehow influence this, for example, by “forbidding” “Stakhanovite” proteins to produce an excess of ceramides?
By introducing ceramide synthesis blockers to elderly mice, scientists prevented the loss of muscle mass in animals, and even at a very respectable age, the animals remained strong, enduring and retained good coordination of movements.
By studying the process of blocking ceramides more closely, scientists found that the introduction of a blocker activates muscle stem cells, causing muscles to grow and become stronger.
Finally, the most important question: is it possible to apply this knowledge to the benefit of people?
It turned out that 25 percent of the surveyed people aged 70-80 already have their own natural “ceramide blocker” – a special mutation in the gene responsible for their synthesis.
Such people were able to walk longer, were stronger, and were better able to get up from a chair, indicating more comfortable aging.
In other words, the results obtained in mice may be useful to us, so now the task of scientists is to develop ceramide blockers that people can take.
If their research is successful, it is quite possible that the elderly person who goes out for a morning run or deftly jumps over obstacles will not be a rare exception, but the norm.
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