Worms burn fat for a longer life

November 7th, 2008 - 5:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Nov 7 (IANS) Burning fat can lead to a longer life at least in case of worms, according to a new study.A fat-burning enzyme in C. elegans increases its activity after the worm’s reproductive stem cells stop proliferating, and the result is a longer lifespan, said Meng Wang of Harvard Medical School, Boston, and colleagues.

Their findings offer a tantalising glimpse into how regulation of metabolism, lifespan and reproduction are linked, a relationship that longevity studies are increasingly focusing on, said Ting Xie a colleague.

Wang and colleagues show that reproductive stem cells in adult worms actively control levels of the lipase K04A8.5, which reduces intestinal fat. When the stem cells stop proliferating, levels of lipase rise significantly and zap the fat, said a Harvard release.

Worms with the lipase activated in the intestine lived 24 percent longer than their siblings, the researchers found.

The report appeared in Thursday issue of Science.

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