A new study published in Cell Metabolism explains mice given an amino acid supplement have been shown to live longer. The amino acids in question are BCAAs, or branch-chain amino acids, or leucine, valine, and isoleucine. These amino acids function as building block for new proteins.
This study is the first of its kind to prove a survival increase due to an amino acid supplementation. Researchers supplemented the drinking water of male mice, considered to be middle-aged. All mice in this study were healthy and their diet was consistent with normal mice.
Mice given additional amino acid supplementation over a number of months showed lengthened life span of about 12 percent.
Along with an increased life-span, supplemented mice had larger counts of mitochondria, or components in cells that help power them. Another effect the mice receiving supplements showed was an increase of SIRT1 — a gene known to aid in immune system and life expansion.
Researchers explain supplementation with amino acids to be similar to a calorie-restricted diet.
Based on the protein-building components of BCAAs, supplementation for individuals with heart failure may be vital.
Experts believe this new information further increases the interest in using nutrition as a preventative method for aging, disease, and other health issues.