The proper diet for longevity may not be what is eaten, but what is not. University of California, Los Angeles, researchers have reported that the withdrawal of coenzyme Q (Q) from the diet of Caenorhabditis elegans extends the adult life span by almost 60% (P.L. Larsen, C.F. Clarke, "Extension of life-span in Caenorhabditis elegans by a diet lacking coenzyme Q," Science, 295:120-3, Jan. 4, 2002.) Q is found in the respiratory chains of mitochondria and can be obtained from eating anything that once was alive. Q functions as an electron carrier in aerobic respiration, creating a proton gradient across the mitochondrial membrane, which is coupled to ATP synthesis in the cell. Decreased Q levels accounted for the reduced generation of free oxygen radicals; these radicals cause oxidative damage to cells and decrease their lifespan. Pamela L. Larsen, a UCLA research associate of chemistry and biochemistry, says that researchers speculate...
Interested in reading more?
Become a Member of
Receive full access to digital editions of The Scientist, as well as TS Digest, feature stories, more than 35 years of archives, and much more!
Already a member?