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Bodybuilding supplement promotes healthy aging and extends life span


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...in mice. AKG is in the news again - and dollar signs are dancing in people's eyes:

A dietary supplement bodybuilders use to bulk up may have a more sweeping health benefit: Staving off the ravages of old age

"Ponce de Leon Health already sells a formulation of AKG called Rejuvant that it says can “slow the aging process.” Kennedy defends these claims. “We are upfront about the data that we have and do not yet have on the website,” he says. And Brown-Borg notes the Buck team isn’t the first group of aging-focused researchers to start a company to develop an antiaging treatment, an idea she hopes will eventually pan out in clinical trials. “It’s an exciting time in the field,” she says."

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A naturally-occurring metabolite ups lifespan and compresses late-life morbidity in mice

Middle-aged mice that had the naturally-occurring metabolite alpha-ketaglutarate (AKG) added to their chow had a better "old age." They were healthier as they aged and experienced a dramatically shorter time of disease and disability before they died

Previous studies show that blood plasma levels of AKG can drop up to 10-fold as we age.Fasting and exercise, already shown to promote longevity, increase the production of AKG. AKG is not found in the normal diet, making supplementation the only feasible way to restore its levels.

Noting that some of the mice did experience moderate lifespan extension (the average was around 12%), measures of healthspan increased more than 40 percent. 

Even the mice that died early saw improvements in their health, which was really surprising and encouraging."

AKG inhibits the breakdown of protein in muscles, making it a popular supplement among athletes.

We think suppression of inflammation could be the basis for the extension of lifespan and probably healthspan

Asadi said many of the study results were sex specific, with female mice generally faring better than males. 

Researchers say the consistent longevity effects of AKG in yeast, C. elegans, and now mice, show that the metabolite is affecting an evolutionary conserved aging mechanism which is likely to be translational to humans.  A clinical trial of AKG involving 45 to 65 year olds is being planned at the Centre for Healthy Longevity at the National University of Singapore (NUS).


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Alpha-Ketoglutarate, an Endogenous Metabolite, Extends Lifespan and Compresses Morbidity in Aging Mice.
Asadi Shahmirzadi A, Edgar D, Liao CY, Hsu YM, Lucanic M, Asadi Shahmirzadi A, Wiley CD, Gan G, Kim DE, Kasler HG, Kuehnemann C, Kaplowitz B, Bhaumik D, Riley RR, Kennedy BK, Lithgow GJ.
Cell Metab. 2020 Sep 1;32(3):447-456.e6. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2020.08.004.
PMID: 32877690

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