New research shows that some of the people in an Amish population have a gene that can make them live longer. A study paper, which was published in the journal Science Advances, showed the mutations responsible for it. These genes were noted to be ‘responsible’ for providing a longer and healthier life. The people who have this variation presented a lower risk of diabetes and a better metabolism compared to the ones that didn’t have the genes.
These Amish Genes, an Attainable Secret?
Researchers mentioned that studying this gene mutation might help them better understand how to reduce age-related affections. This might also possibly help them extend the lifespan of people. The research is based on the proxy measures of telomeres. These are the ends of the DNA strands. Telomeres protect chromosomes from fusing with other chromosome and also from deterioration.
When the DNA replicates, telomeres start getting shorter and shorter. This leads to the production of senescence, also known as biological aging. Once the senescence increases, the cells from our body start to produce specific proteins more than others. The studied Amish genes seem to age slower than others.
More than 170 Amish people agreed to take part in this study. A genetic analysis was conducted on each of them for the SERPINE1, a gene which encodes PAI-1. It was observed that 43 of the participants, both women and men, had a nonfunctional copy of the gene. These people lived, on average, ten years more than people from the same community who had the normal gene.
The Amish genes mutation seems to protect them from diabetes. The research showed that people who had the mutated SERPINE1 gene presented no signs of the condition. In comparison, 7% of the other participants presented at least some signs. The mutated gene was also correlated with a better ability to metabolize nutrients and food. According to the study team, these Amish genes need to be further researched further to know more them and their properties.
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