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article imageControlling fat movement in the body for better health

By Tim Sandle     Dec 25, 2015 in Science
A protein that can transport fats around the body can affect protective processes in cells and affect life span, according to a new study.
The identified lipoprotein, called apolipoprotein B, functions to transport fats like cholesterol around the body. Researchers discovered a similar protein in nematode worms called vitellogenin. They found that inhibiting vitellogenin led to worms living for 40 percent longer than the norm. The protein appears to stop cells from using and remodeling fats (a process called lipophagy) for healthier purposes; if this happens, the life expectancy of cells increases.
Similar studies on mice, blocking apolipoprotein B, led to a similar increase in life expectancy for the rodents. Medically, it is known within people, that high levels of apolipoprotein B (some times dubbed "bad cholesterol") are associated with cardiovascular disease.
The experimental results do not necessarily mean the same effects would be seem in people, should a protein blocker be developed and administered. It does, however, present a new avenue for scientific inquiry, exploring the relationship between relationships between lipoproteins, autophagy and life span. Therapies already exist, where blocking apolipoprotein B, helps with the treatment of heart disease.
The research, from Brown University, has been published in the journal Autophagy. The research paper is titled "Autophagy-mediated longevity is modulated by lipoprotein biogenesis."
More about Life expectancy, Fats, Obesity, fat transport
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