The Genes of Aging and Carbohydrates

U.S. geneticist, Professor Cynthia Kenyon discovered that a high-carbohydrate diet “directly affect two key genes that govern youthfulness and longevity”. These two genes are insulin related, so related to the amount of carbohydrate in our diet.

Kenyon discovered that when she removed these two insulin-receptor genes (daf-2 and daf-16) in worms, they not only lived longer, but showed more energy and youthful behavior, so the aging process actually slows down. Researchers repeated this experiment in different animals, they also concluded that the lower the insulin levels, the more protection these animals got from cancer and heart disease.

Researchers already know that abnormal insulin activity in humans is linked to higher disease rates, especially “diseases of civilization” such as heart disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes and cancer. These diseases are associated with diets rich in refined carbohydrates.

What is interesting is that when Kenyon discovered that aging is in a close relationship with insulin, she herself changed to a low-carbohydrate diet. 

The problem is that now drug companies will jump on the opportunity and experiment on drugs that block these two genes in humans. The solution should be much simpler: to reduce sugar and carbohydrate from our diet.

You can read more details on Professor Kenyon and her discovery in this article: Can cutting carbohydrates from your diet make you live longer?

Ilona Kasza is a Hungarian fashion designer living in Singapore. She is the creator of the BIG FAT BLOG where she writes about food and health topics.

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