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Reducing One Amino Acid Could Increase Lifespan

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the for-compulsive-food-sorters dept.

Medicine 286

John Bryson writes "Eating less of one amino acid might lengthen your life. There have been lots of previous studies showing that many species live long on highly restricted calories, but a lot of this benefit may be possible by only restricting one amino acid. Amino acids that have shown this have been tryptophan and methionine. A recent study, published online December 2 in Nature, a highly respected journal, may help explain some of the health benefits of restricted-calorie diets."

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Yes, but... (2, Interesting)

mano.m (1587187) | more than 4 years ago | (#30341774)

how do you screen for one amino acid that may keep popping up in a hundred different foodstuff in various amounts? Unless you took a daily dose of something to chelate out that one a.a. from the body. Hmm....

Re:Yes, but... (4, Informative)

John Whitley (6067) | more than 4 years ago | (#30341872)

TFA directly addresses that point:

Piper and his colleagues don’t know what the correct amino acid balance might be for humans, and he says it would be a nearly impossible feat to adjust people’s diets to get just the right mix. Instead, the team is investigating how tweaking amino acid content in the diet affects cells. If the researchers can identify pathways affected by amino acid imbalances, they might be able to design drugs or other therapies that could give the benefits of caloric restriction without cutting calories.

Re:Yes, but... (2, Insightful)

conureman (748753) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342752)

When I read that last paragraph, it seemed that they were saying that, rather than try to find the correct sort of diet, they were going to direct the research toward a drug therapy. Something a little easier to monetize, perhaps?

Re:Yes, but... (4, Insightful)

justin12345 (846440) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342806)

Taking a drug is a little easier to do then changing your lifestyle. If these guys can come up with a pill that makes people stay "young" and live 120 years, why shouldn't they get rich?

Re:Yes, but... (5, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342800)

they might be able to design drugs or other therapies that could give the benefits of caloric restriction without cutting calories.

I want you to think about how expensive a drug to extend life would end up being. You think world and economic leaders want to see the lifespan of all humans suddenly extended? Regardless of the research and input costs involved in developing a longevity drug, I believe it would probably end up only available to, let's say, a certain "class" of people. I mean, we wouldn't want "those people" to have longer lives, which means they become more numerous, am I right?

Even a sudden jump of 10 years to human lifespan would cause some social disruption. 20 years or more and the ground starts to shift under our social institutions.

Re:Yes, but... (2, Informative)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342860)

I want you to think about how expensive a drug to extend life would end up being. You think world and economic leaders want to see the lifespan of all humans suddenly extended?

Recently I went back and reread Kim Stanley Robinson's trilogy beginning with Red Mars [amazon.com] . One of the plot points is how a gene therapy is developed that essentially prolongs lifespan indefinitely. Robinson spends much time exploring the demographic and political ramifications of this. A decade ago, this was all very relevant reading.

However, in the years since this kind of science fiction enjoyed its heyday, there's been so much talk about the possible coming Singularity by futurists like Kurzweil. If the integration of the biological and the machine is right around the corner, then that would seem to overturn the Mathusian vision of the future evoked by the presence so many normal humans.

The integration of technology with biology is usually discussed as being so gradual that your suspicion that this immortality wouldn't be available to all people is not necessarily the case. Look around the developing world, and you'll see more and more people having access to all kinds of gadgetry.

Re:Yes, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30341876)

I'd also like to know exactly how much restriction is needed for a significant life benefit.

Ideally, if giving up Trytophan is beneficial with no negative side effects, they'd create a pill that prevents your body from digesting it. But barring that, if I can just limit the consumption of amino acid X for 100 extra years of life then hey. Maybe I won't get the +105 years of life that guy who completely eliminates tyrophan from his diet does, but 100 is all good by me!

Re:Yes, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30342134)

The presumption of such studies is that the lengthening of one's life is "a benefit".

Re:Yes, but... (2, Funny)

Ragzouken (943900) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342164)

Ooooh, so profound.

Re:Yes, but... (2, Funny)

jcr (53032) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342274)

Kind of depends what you do with it.

-jcr

Re:Yes, but... (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342330)

> Ooooh, so profound.

But so true!

Re:Yes, but... (3, Insightful)

daveime (1253762) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342490)

Oooh, so naive.

I don't know about you, but just about every old person I've known has reached a point somewhere or other where they have said "I'm ready to go, I'm tired, I've had enough".

Now I'm not advocating euthenasia or anything so extreme, but with age comes degeneration, both physical and mental, and for a lot of people, they are prisoners in their own bodeis, wracked with pain and only their daily cocktail of pills keep them functioning even to a limited degree.

But hell yes, Mr 23-Year-Old-I-Know-It-All thinks we should all "live forever". Wait till you've experience an elderly releative with Alzheimers who gets confused and frustrated because they can't remember what they were doing 5 minutes ago ... or takes an hour to get up because every joint is locked in pain.

Re:Yes, but... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30342716)

Those problems may be solvable, however. We may be able to extend the average healthy human lifespan to 100+ years and reverse problems like mental decline, cancer, etc. Probably not in our lifetime though.

Then we'll probably have to deal with overpopulation. There's a limited amount of natural resources here on Earth. Probably we'll have colonies in space by them. It'll probably be a lousy quality of life for everyone involved though, assuming we haven't killed everyone off in wars by then.

Re:Yes, but... (2, Interesting)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342810)

I'm not advocating euthenasia or anything so extreme

Many civilizations throughout history have not considered euthanasia extreme by any means. Just because our particular religious influence is somewhat more restrictive than those of other civilizations doesn't mean that their practices were barbaric. It's entirely possible that once all this Christ nonsense dies down, people might have a much more reasonable view of what constitutes "extreme."

I am advocating euthanasia. Or, more precisely, assisted suicide. Adults of sound mind should have the option while their mind is still sound.

Re:Yes, but... (2, Insightful)

conureman (748753) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342864)

Ol' Dad was 92 when the cancer got him, and I still feel the humiliation of that last time we went hiking, when he left me behind, dizzy and panting, on the climb back to the car. He was a moderate with his eating, (coffee, bacon, and eggs every morning) and refused medication up to his last days. I don't know how much is genetic, but the Kentucky Mountaineer lifestyle, minus tobacco, seems to have been beneficial.

Re:Yes, but... (5, Informative)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342458)

``Ideally, if giving up Trytophan is beneficial with no negative side effects, they'd create a pill that prevents your body from digesting it.''

Interestingly, there are actually pills that contain tryptophan. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid and is one of the precursors to serotonine. Serotonine is a neurotransmitter, and low serotonine levels are associated with such conditions as depression and anxiety disorders. So people take extra tryptophan (or, more commonly, 5-HTP, the direct precursor to serotonine) to boost serotonine levels.

No Turkey for you... (3, Funny)

icebike (68054) | more than 4 years ago | (#30341780)

Tryptophan, isn't that the sleep inducing post Thanksgiving Feast drug of the ritual Turkey meal?

What's methionine found in? Don't tell me, pumpkin Pie...

Re:No Turkey for you... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30341802)

Tryptophan also naturally occurs in bananas. It metabolizes through a few stages into serotonin.

Re:No Turkey for you... (1, Funny)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 4 years ago | (#30341806)

What's methionine found in?

In recent news, the United States government has outlawed the sale of items containing "methionine" on grounds that the first four letters are identical to those found in "methamphetamine." Carol McIdiot, a noted FDA scientist, was quoted as saying "for God's sake, we must stop this contamination at once. Won't someone think of the children? Have you no soul!?!?"

Film at 11.

Re:No Turkey for you... (4, Informative)

Paltin (983254) | more than 4 years ago | (#30341832)

Tryptophan inducing the Thanksgiving sleep is a nice myth--- but it's a common amino acid, and is actually in a higher concentration in chicken than turkey.

The sleep inducing factor in your favorite November holiday is actually the fact that you stuff yourself. Eat four pounds of chicken and gravy, and then we'll see if you stay awake. :)

Re:No Turkey for you... (5, Funny)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342012)

Eat four pounds of chicken and gravy, and then we'll see if you stay awake. :)

I accept the terms of your challenge.

Re:No Turkey for you... (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342720)

I don't know. Four of each, or four combined?

Re:No Turkey for you... (1)

Bent Mind (853241) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342098)

So I have to ask then, what in turkey does induce sleepiness? I don't believe it is a matter of stuffing yourself. For Christmas dinner, I traditionally eat duck. The rest of the meal is very similar to Thanksgiving dinner. Yet I don't feel sleepy after Christmas dinner. For that matter, I tend to eat about as much on Thanksgiving and Christmas as I do any other night. Yet the Turkey dinner is the only one that makes me sleepy. I can even eat a Turkey TV dinner and get sleepy.

Maybe it is not the tryptophan, but there is something in turkey that makes me sleepy.

Re:No Turkey for you... (1)

Paltin (983254) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342204)

anecdotes =/= science

Re:No Turkey for you... (4, Informative)

Bent Mind (853241) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342448)

anecdotes =/= science

Not sure what your point was. Were you saying that there isn't any science in your post?

I found the answer in a wikipedia link [wikipedia.org] provided in another message. The link suggests that the sleepiness is not caused by tryptophan alone. Rather, carbohydrates trigger the release of insulin. Insulin causes muscle to take in LNAA, but not tryptophan. This leaves a larger ratio of tryptophan in the blood to be taken across the blood-brain barrier into the central nervous system. There it is converted into serotonin. The serotonin is metabolized into melatonin. Melatonin makes you sleepy.

So, tryptophan by itself does not make you sleepy. However, tryptophan combined with carbohydrates leads to the right conditions needed to make you sleepy. It has nothing to do with stuffing yourself. Nor is tryptophan's involvement a myth. It just needs the right conditions. Skip the mashed potatoes and you shouldn't get sleepy from turkey.

Re:No Turkey for you... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30342540)

I think his point was that you're an idiot. . .

Re:No Turkey for you... (0, Flamebait)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342814)

Of course, because the duck wouldn't have any carbohydrates, brilliant!

Re:No Turkey for you... (3, Funny)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342210)

the conversation ?

Re:No Turkey for you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30342176)

I'm from Canada, you insensitive clod! We celebrate Thanksgiving in October!

Re:No Turkey for you... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342552)

The sleep inducing factor in your favorite November holiday is actually the fact that you stuff yourself. Eat four pounds of chicken and gravy, and then we'll see if you stay awake. :)

I don't believe you; it might not be Tryptophan, but it is definitely something in turkey. We roadkilled a young hen last year or so, and on our way back found her lying dead in a vineyard, so we brought her home and made stew out of her that ended up being like a sleeping pill. One bowl and you were ready for a nap; two and you'd pass out. And I'm not talking mixing bowls here, either. We don't normally eat Turkeys in that season, but whatever it is was far more than usually pronounced.

Re:No Turkey for you... (3, Funny)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342816)

All I saw was "blah blah blah, we eat roadkill."

This is probably unfair, but I feel that that aspect of your story diminishes your credibility.

Re:No Turkey for you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30342678)

there are 240mg of tryptophan per 100g of turkey. a half pound of turkey is ~250g so 240mg * 2.5 = 600mg of tryptophan in a likely below average amount of turkey for thanksgiving. i wasn't able to find the conversion ratio of tryptophan -> 5htp -> serotonin -> melatonin however there are many factors involved. .2mg worth of melatonin is an effective dose in some however it can range up to 2mg. so for many as long as we achieve 1mg melatonin per 3000mg of tryptophan for those that .2mg is effective it is likely turkey is the culprit and is in fact not a myth.

vitamins b6 and b12 are helpful in the conversion process. b6 is found in butter which i tend to slather on just about every other thing during thanksgiving and b12 is actually found in poultry.

Thank you, come again!

Re:No Turkey for you... (0)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342824)

Dude, did you not see the "more tryptophan in chicken than turkey" bit?

Re:No Turkey for you... (3, Informative)

millennial (830897) | more than 4 years ago | (#30341834)

Not quite. [wikipedia.org] But yeah, I had the same thought :)

One belief is that heavy consumption of turkey meat (as for example in a Thanksgiving or Christmas feast) results in drowsiness, which has been attributed to high levels of tryptophan contained in turkey. While turkey does contain high levels of tryptophan, the amount is comparable to that contained in most other meats. Furthermore, postprandial Thanksgiving sedation may have more to do with what else is consumed along with the turkey, in particular carbohydrates and alcohol.

Re:No Turkey for you... (4, Interesting)

shawb (16347) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342290)

True, to get sleepy from the tryptophan in turkey, one would have to figure out how to eat that turkey without eating the other amino acids present... it only promotes sleepiness when consumed on its own.

However, there is still a twisted nugget of almost truth if you follow one of the current theories on postprandial sedation. The whole chain goes something like this:
Eating large amounts of starchy food -> increased blood sugar levels.
elevated blood sugar -> insulin release
elevated insulin levels -> increased absorption of long chain amino acids into muscle tissue
increased absorption of long chain amino acids -> decreased blood serum levels of long chain amino acids
decreased serum long chain amino acid levels -> increased serum ratio of short chain/long chain amino acids
tryptophan is a short chain amino acid, and higher serum ratios of tryptophan lead to increased production of seratonin and melatonin, leading to sleepiness.

So yes, there is some tryptophan in turkey. And tryptophan supplements can induce sleepiness, but they need to be taken on an empty stomach to do so. That is because digesting pure tryptophan will also increase the serum ration of tryptophan to other amino acids. However in a traidional thankgsiving feast, it's the massive overload of carbs in the stuffing, corn, bread, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, cranberry marshmallow fluff, pie, whipped cream and even gravy (it's thickened with starch) that lead to the sleep inducing increased serum ratio of tryptophan. Some of the sleepiness can also be blamed on redirecting a good portion of blood flow to the digestive system to tackle the huge meal just consumed. A glass of wine or two can provide enough alcohol for the final KO providing the need to sleep.

Re:No Turkey for you... (0)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342832)

And this is clearly valid reasoning because Thanksgiving dinner is the only meal with "starchy" foods?

Re:No Turkey for you... (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342304)

emphasis on "postprandial Thanksgiving sedation may have more to do with"

There's a lot of anecdotal evidence...

Re:No Turkey for you... (1)

stms (1132653) | more than 4 years ago | (#30341856)

methionine also found in turkey.

Re:No Turkey for you... (3, Informative)

Psychotic_Wrath (693928) | more than 4 years ago | (#30341862)

There is more tryptophan in a glass of milk than a serving of turkey

Re:No Turkey for you... (1)

millennial (830897) | more than 4 years ago | (#30341906)

What size glass and what size serving? That makes about as much sense as "muscle weighs more than fat".

Re:No Turkey for you... (2, Informative)

Psychotic_Wrath (693928) | more than 4 years ago | (#30341914)

1 serving of 2% milk and 1 serving of turkey. Milk has significantly more. I don't really want to look up the serving sizes but if you google em you'll find em :). I do understand your argument tho.

Re:No Turkey for you... (1)

hemp (36945) | more than 4 years ago | (#30341996)

Why do people buy 2% milk? Regular milk is 3% (hence why 2% can no longer be labeled "low fat").

Re:No Turkey for you... (2, Insightful)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342308)

For the same reason one buys "low fat" food that has 300% the sodium content.

The answer? People are idiots.

Re:No Turkey for you... (1)

A Friendly Troll (1017492) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342122)

There is more tryptophan in a glass of milk than a serving of turkey

Is that why the myth of "drink a glass of warm milk to help you sleep better" appeared? I have no idea.

Re:No Turkey for you... (1)

tsjaikdus (940791) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342740)

Darn, I knew I shouldn't trust wiki!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tryptophan [wikipedia.org]

turkey 0.24 [g/100 g of food]
milk 0.08 [g/100 g of food]

Re:No Turkey for you... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30341886)

What's methionine found in?

From wikipedia: Methionine is one of only two amino acids encoded by a single codon (AUG) in the standard genetic code (tryptophan, encoded by UGG, is the other). The codon AUG is also the "Start" message for a ribosome that signals the initiation of protein translation from mRNA. As a consequence, methionine is incorporated into the N-terminal position of all proteins in eukaryotes and archaea during translation, although it is usually removed by post-translational modification.

Wild speculation on my part is that methionine and tryptophan could be amino acids that have particularly strong effects on protein synthesis generally (e.g if you don't have enough methionine you can't even start making each protein).

Re:No Turkey for you... (1)

chartreuse (16508) | more than 4 years ago | (#30341972)

I've never said this before, but somebody mod this up, it's useful data even if the speculation isn't (or is) shown to be the case.

Re:No Turkey for you... (1)

MrMr (219533) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342020)

You may be right, lab animals live a lot longer if they are kept on a starvation diet. The effect for humans seems to be limited to only a couple of years.

Re:No Turkey for you... (1)

Z1NG (953122) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342300)

The likely reason that humans haven't noticed as much of a difference on a starvation diet, is that they have generally started later in life. (Obviously, there are many humans that have starved most of their lives but still not had increased lifespans - the diet still needs to be nutritionally adequate). Iirc I think this is one of the reasons that the Okinawans are believed to have had longer lifespans.

No tryptophan in TFA (4, Informative)

mangu (126918) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342022)

I am the one slashdotter that reads TFA (the full article) before posting. I even did a search for tryptophan. Nope, it's not there. Maybe the submitter forgot a link, but tryptophan is never mentioned in the sciencenews.org article.

Re:No Turkey for you... (2, Informative)

jonnat (1168035) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342194)

If you are interested, here is a list of food products containing high levels of methionine:

http://www.nutritiondata.com/foods-000084000000000000000-w.html [nutritiondata.com]

And tryptophan:

http://www.nutritiondata.com/foods-000079000000000000000-w.html [nutritiondata.com]

Re:No Turkey for you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30342246)

So basically the top sources of these two are the cheapest stuff (eggs, chicken, soy) industrial food is filled with. Read all about it in my new book "How to Thin the Herd - Conspiracies You'll Just Eat Up" :D

Re:No Turkey for you... (1)

melstav (174456) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342850)

Quoting the wikipedia article:

High levels of methionine can be found in sesame seeds, Brazil nuts, fish, meats and some other plant seeds.

Good news for kids (1)

iamapizza (1312801) | more than 4 years ago | (#30341790)

You don't have to eat your greens anymore, go straight to dessert!

Reducing amino acids? (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 4 years ago | (#30341794)

This study may be especially significant for those employed in the nocturnal carnal need satisfaction industry, especially around holiday seasons. It might be the season to be jolly, but think of your health!

Prolong life as a what? (1)

FlightlessParrot (1217192) | more than 4 years ago | (#30341814)

If you were to RTFA (why yes, I am new around here) you might come to the conclusion that restricting specific amino acids will prolong your life as a fruitfly.

Well, I guess it wouldn't be too bad if you lived in an Apple.

Re:Prolong life as a what? (5, Interesting)

Tangentc (1637287) | more than 4 years ago | (#30341882)

RTFA indeed, if you read as far as the third paragraph you'd know that it was also proven on mice, dogs, and baboons. That makes this pretty likely to apply to humans as well. Though I'm confused as to why the summary says that tryptophan also has this property, as the article doesn't even use the word. I couldn't find the original Nature article, but the linked one certainly said nothing about it.

Re:Prolong life as a what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30341904)

Woosh.

Re:Prolong life as a what? (1)

FlightlessParrot (1217192) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342018)

Err, well, actually NO. Para 3 says that calory-restricted diets are shown to prolong life in a variety of species. TFA is actually about amino-acids.

Try reading with attention, eh?

Re:Prolong life as a what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30342842)

> RTFA indeed, if you read as far as the third paragraph you'd know that it was also proven on mice, dogs, and baboons.

That covers what... 98% of the human stereotypes?

Well, there's the snakes...

One simple rule (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30341818)

Now I can live longer and get a flat stomach by following ONE simple rule.

Re:One simple rule (2, Funny)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 4 years ago | (#30341870)

You, sir, are an asshole. I can't even read /. without being exposed to these ads in comments. Well played, though.

Re:One simple rule (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30342102)

You, sir, are an asshole. I can't even read /. without being exposed to these ads in comments. Well played, though.

Derrrrr am i missing some strange hidden feature of /. the Adds ??? WHAT FREAKIN ADDS i dont get them (HE!HE! HE!)

less meat nore veggies- where have we heard this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30341830)

So the conclusion from this study is that people with caloric restriction lifestyles should consider eat more methionine containing foods to regain their mojo. Those of us on regular diets should cut intake of meat, seeds, and other foods that are high in methionine.

Oh sure. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30341852)

Translation: We cut back on everything, then gave them back their protein. Suddenly they got better. IT CANNOT BE! CARBOHYDRATES ARE ESSENTIAL!!!! ITS TEH CALORIES STUPID!

So you get old but depressed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30341854)

Tryptophan is a major precursor to Serotonin. High tryptophan levels correlate quite strongly with high Serotonin levels,...

tryptophan (1)

kerrbear (163235) | more than 4 years ago | (#30341864)

> Amino acids that have shown this have been tryptophan

couldn't they have told us this before thanksgivig?

tryptophan (1)

igotmybfg (525391) | more than 4 years ago | (#30341894)

Couldn't they have told me this one week before I OD'd on tryptophan, not one week after?

Am I reading this right? (1)

ProfessionalHostage (1110801) | more than 4 years ago | (#30341952)

Live long, have lots of sex without worrying about giving babies? By jove! Where can I send my money to?

Re:Am I reading this right? (1)

tsjaikdus (940791) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342222)

How I read it. Long life. No sex.

*eat banana and 4 eggs at same time*

Link to actual study (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30341976)

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature08619.html for the actual study

Amino Acids (3, Interesting)

LightPhoenix7 (1070028) | more than 4 years ago | (#30341980)

So... what they discovered is that limiting diets reduce reproduction at the expense of lifespan?

Color me skeptical, but this is not exactly new. It's well known that limited diets reduce reproductive metabolism in favor of survival. After all, what good is reproduction if you don't live to do it.

Now, I'm not saying this is all bunk. I don't know. What I am saying is that all this really proves is that methionine is necessary for egg-laying and lifespan in Drosophila. That's a far stretch from saying that reducing methionine increases lifespan in well-fed humans. In fact, what TFA says is that there is a discrepancy in studies. In fact, TFA doesn't even mention tryptophan, so I don't know where the submitter got that.

Unfortunately, I can't access the Nature article right now. However, I'll definitely be taking a look at it tomorrow, because I am extremely skeptical of these claims.

Re:Amino Acids (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342564)

It's well known that limited diets reduce reproductive metabolism in favor of survival. After all, what good is reproduction if you don't live to do it.

While that may be true, I think it is more of a case of: what good is reproduction (which requires a lot of resources from the mother before birth) when there is not enough food to go around even without extra mouths to feed. Better save the expense of pregnancy for times when there is better chance for the baby to actually have enough to eat.

All that hunger was for nothing ??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30341994)

I am on calorie restriction diet for 8 years now. First, this information has made me very upset. Second, I do not believe this !!

"A highly respected journal" (4, Insightful)

bhima (46039) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342010)

As a subscriber to Nature I find it interesting that when we're talking about amino acids Nature is a highly respected international weekly journal of science but.... when we're talking climate science it's the nexus of an evil, duplicitous, Socialist, Marxist, environmentalist cabal bent on destroying the fabric of American society.

Re:"A highly respected journal" (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30342054)

Nature journal /is/ "the nexus of an evil, duplicitous, Socialist, Marxist, environmentalist cabal bent on destroying the fabric of American society", regardless of scientific disciplines.

Re:"A highly respected journal" (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30342088)

Liberals in general being bent on destroying America as it is today is not a cabal technically, as it's just like-minded evil, duplicitous, Socialist, Marxist, environmentalists working towards the same goal. But of climate scientists in particular, recent evidence is of exactly that.

And we'll feel the same about what Nature says about amino acids if leftists start using that too to push a fascist agenda of radical societal and economic transformation.

Re:"A highly respected journal" (0, Troll)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342320)

Liberals founded America, nitwit...

Re:"A highly respected journal" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30342426)

And Abraham Lincoln was a Republican.

Check, and Mate.

Re:"A highly respected journal" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30342486)

And the republican party was liberal when Lincoln was in it

Re:"A highly respected journal" (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30342444)

Our liberal founders were obviously nothing like liberals today. They were big on individual freedom and states' rights and limited government with separation of powers, whereas liberals today are for collectivism and consolidation and centralization of power and governance. What today's liberals genuinely feel is best for America would be anathema to the country's founding radicals.

Re:"A highly respected journal" (1)

MoeDumb (1108389) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342464)

Hey hey hey, let's get back to how I can eat all I want without gaining weight while infinitely extending my lifespan all at the same time! Now, where'd I put those molecule tweezers...?

Re:"A highly respected journal" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30342108)

Can someone mod this offtopic? Does everything have to involve this whole global warming clusterfuck?

Re:"A highly respected journal" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30342168)

If nothing else, I imagine the people that work with climate change vs. amino acides are all completely different.

Not to say nature is disreputable on either, but there is nothing wrong with saying reliable at one thing and maybe not so much in another domain. its a common enough situation in life.

Re:"A highly respected journal" (2, Insightful)

chrb (1083577) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342206)

Not to say nature is disreputable on either, but there is nothing wrong with saying reliable at one thing and maybe not so much in another domain. its a common enough situation in life.

A scientific journal is either respected or not. You can't just pick and choose the articles you like and then say "Yeah, Nature is a great journal, but it sucks in fields X, Y and Z.". If it actually does suck in certain fields but is publishing papers in those fields, then it isn't a great journal, is it?

Of course, the real problem is people who decide that a 140-year old science journal, widely considered to be one of the most prestigious in the world, is bogus because the papers it publishes conflict with their own personal right-wing political views.

Re:"A highly respected journal" (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30342534)

Maybe another problem is people who employ the logical fallacies of Appeal to Tradition [nizkor.org] and Appeal to Popularity [nizkor.org] to try to prop up a Politically Correct publication because it jibes with their science-corrupting left-wing political views.

Re:"A highly respected journal" (2, Insightful)

rahvin112 (446269) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342840)

Not quite. JAMA is highly respected journal, but if it carried an article an article on the gusset plate failure that caused the bridge collapse in Illinois I would give it as much weight and authority as an internet posting. It's not quite so simple to say if it's respected that it can do no wrong and all articles are good, you could say it's respected in the field of medicine and therefore it's medical articles have authority. The same applies to Nature, Nature has published articles outside their normal area in the past and will do so in the future, those articles don't have the same weight as the lead trade publication in the field.

It's a big mistake to apply respect from one field to respect in another. The WTC conspiracists like to point to articles by supposed fire investigators on the impossibility that the collapse of the towers was from the plane crashes while ignoring the civil engineering trade publication article by real experts that documented, modeled and explained the collapse so that new buildings can be designed (and older buildings retrofitted) to avoid similar failure mechanisms where possible. Even if a publication or person is respected in one field, it's a terrible mistake to say that respect carries to other fields. A Fire investigator might be a great source for the cause of natural or even criminal fires, but that expertise doesn't carry to the investigation of high rise building collapse due to planes crashing into them, in fact it doesn't even carry to plane crashes, fires from plane crashes, or the forensic study of structural collapse.

With apologies (1)

BlueParrot (965239) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342312)

Well we all know nature has a liberal bias. ;-)

(sorry, couldn't help myself )

Re:"A highly respected journal" (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342554)

Why is harping on this insightful? There simply isn't any coherent 'we' involved.

Wow, what a complicated explanation.

Re:"A highly respected journal" (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342730)

When talking about computers I'm a respected person of knowledge but when we're talking about hair styles I'm pretty useless.

O_N_L_Y in a Complex System (3, Insightful)

foobsr (693224) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342016)

TFA: "“The idea that only calories are important is basically falling apart,” Fontana says."

Perhaps one should consider that in complex systems there is no such thing like 'only'.

CC.

Bad summary (2, Insightful)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342032)

If anything, TFA says that you should restrict all amino acids except methionine. If you are fruit fly, that is.

TFA also says nothing about tryptophan in particular.

Or am I totally confused?

Tryptophan? (2, Informative)

Nithendil (1637041) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342042)

The summary mentions tryptophan but it isn't anywhere in the article. And I wonder if the decreased longevity is due to the excessive methionine itself or a result of its byproducts such as SAM and homocysteine.

The aliens worked hard to (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342144)

keep the herd in stock. Dont undo their experiments.
Like an admin on holiday, when they get back its personal.

A complete contradiction on health... (1)

adosch (1397357) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342158)

If it's not one study condoning the intake of things like red meat because of known killers like heart disease (which shorten your life), and instead eat the "other" meat, such as fish, turkey, chicken, only to have *this* new study tell me I could live longer if I stay away from foods and specifically meats, such as fish and turkey, that contain amino acids that make me live less? Who are we kidding?

Re:A complete contradiction on health... (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342632)

Actually, you might just find that eating any kind of meat in overly large quantities shortens your expected lifespan.

Cysteine? (1)

jonnat (1168035) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342238)

TFA does not mention it and Nature has a paywall, but it would be interesting to know if they supplemented cysteine in these experiments. Cysteine is the only amino acid capable of making disulfide bonds and is only classified as non-essential because it can be converted from methionine. Whether or not they supplemented cysteine may imply that the same benefits could result from reducing the activity of the met->cys pathway.

If that amino acid is delicious, I'm dying early (2, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342452)

We all know how this goes. If it feels good, we do it. If it feels bad, we don't do it or we avoid whatever causes it. Salt? Good... what does it matter that too much causes health problems? Sugar? Good... what does it matter that...? You get the idea.

Re:If that amino acid is delicious, I'm dying earl (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342734)

Salt tastes good? Your tastes must differ completely from mine. I think it's a developed thing from many years of not eating salt with everything.

Who cares? (1)

Tibia1 (1615959) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342600)

I don't know why anyone cares about this kind of information when the best thing you can do to lengthen your life is to do one thing really well:
Sit on your ass, don't get hit by a car, and get your all in 1 survival pill in 15 years.
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