It is not always easy getting older. When I was a child, I felt like I had all the time in the world. But now, as a grown-up, I always want to do more and achieve more. Aging sounds horrible to me. If only scientists could find a way to slower aging process!
Well, you can delay the aging of your brain by changing your lifestyle, such as restricting calorie intake. Better yet, scientists have recently found a blood factor that can mimic the benefits of this change, which may help you lose weight easily.
The blood factor GDF11 can mimic calorie restriction
Previous studies have shown that better cognition and extended life expectancy can be achieved by certain diet restrictions in some species. Calorie restriction (a reduction in calorie intake of 20% to 30% while preserving nutritional quality) can also lower the risk of cancer and heart disease, and add new neurons to the brain.
The new study uses a mouse model and finds that GDF11 can mimic the benefits of calorie restriction, preventing heart disease and cancer. GDF11 can also increase neurogenesis in the brain, which means it may contribute to better cognition. Besides, the mice with GDF11 lost weight without changing their appetite.
These findings suggest that GDF11 can lower aging process just like calorie restriction. Previously, the mechanisms of GDF11 were largely unknown. But by this new study, the researchers have finally known better about how it works.
The scientists are now going to further confirm their theory. If GDF11 can truly lead to beneficial changes similar to those changes brought by calorie restriction, scientists may be able to use GDF11 to treat metabolic diseases and diseases caused by progressive degeneration and/or death of nerve cells, including obesity, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.
Hope that day will come earlier.
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