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Scientists have known for long now that an animal's lifetime is prolonged by decreasing its sugar ingestion. Researchers from the Université de Montréal have revealed that sugar in itself is not the key element but the cells' capacity to detect its presence is.

The process of aging is still not clearly defined but the link between aging and calorie consumption is certainly obvious to researchers.

Université de Montréal researchers noticed that after removing the gene of a glucose sensor from yeast cells, the lifespan was the same as for those on a glucose restricted diet. In brief, the outcome of these cells relies on what they think they are eating and not on what they are really eating.

Tasting and digestion are the two main features of calorie consumption. When the nutrients reach our cells, the sensors on the surface identify their presence. For instance, for sugar glucose, the molecules within the cell break down the glucose and transform it into energy. The by-products of broken down sugars are usually blamed for the development of the aging process. However, Rokeach and Roux's study claims otherwise.

Rokeach and Roux in association with Biochemistry Professors Pascal Chartrand and Gerardo Ferbeyre, Université de Montréal, used a yeast model organism to provide further evidence on aging. Yeast cells are essentially comparable to human cells, their aging process is similar and they can be easily studied.

When glucose was reduced in their diet, the yeast cells' lifespan increased, according to the findings. The researchers questioned whether the increase in lifespan was a result of the decrease in the cells' capacity to generate energy or whether it was caused by the drop in signals to the cells by the glucose sensor.

The study found that the cells which were not capable of consuming glucose as an energy source were still receptive to the pro-aging effects of glucose. On the other hand, erasing the sensor that evaluates the levels of glucose increased lifespan considerably.

This finding opens a door to new therapeutic strategies for fighting age-related diseases.


This is an important new idea. If we can indeed block the receptors for glucose sensing, people can eat all the sugary foods that they want without suffering any health consequences. That would surely make life a lot more pleasurable for many people.


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... and of course candy manufacturers will benefit as well ;)