Wednesday, October 27, 2010

We Are What We Eat

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Less Carb for a Younger You

A U.S researcher found that cutting down carbohydrates intake not only provide benefits to health, but also gives longevity to life as it reduces the level of insulin in the body.

Professor Cynthia Kenyon, whose research specializes in ageing, has discovered that the carbohydrates we eat, such as bread, pasta, and cakes, can directly affect two genes that govern youthfulness and longevity.

Based in University of California, Daily Mail reported that her revolutionary work which used a type of roundworm, C.elegans, has found that calories reduction can change the way two key genes behave: it turns down one gene that controls insulin (nicknamed 'Grim Reaper') while another with anti-ageing benefits, 'Sweet Sixteen', switches on.


Grim Reaper, which lifespan is shorter when switched on, controls a hormone called insulin-like growth factor that has been confirmed by Prof Jeff Holly of Bristol University, link to cancer of the prostate, breast and colon.

High carbohydrate intake can raise insulin level and could trigger an increase in cholesterol production in the liver, makes the walls of blood vessels contract so blood pressure goes up and stimulates the release of fats called triglycerides (linked to heart disease).

On the other hand, the second gene Sweet Sixteen acts like a elixir of life. It boosts compounds that ensure the skin and muscle-building protein are working accordingly.

Also, "the immune system becomes more active to fight infection and genes that are active in cancer get turned off," Prof Kenyon was quoted in Daily Mail.

‘It sends out instructions to a whole range of repair and renovation genes. Your supply of natural anti oxidants goes up, damping down damaging free radicals," she said.

Prof Holly said the discovery has shown that ageing is not about slow decay of the human body system, but controlled by genes and it opened up the possibility of slowing down the ageing process with drugs.

Source: Daily Mail

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