Concordia University Logo The path of unraveling the mysteries of longevity may receive some light by the following article. Investigators from the Concordia University have apparently understood the role of the bile acid, known as lithocholic acid (LCA), in extending the lifespan of normally aging yeast. The research findings can probably be applicable in human longevity and health because yeast has many common elements with people.

At the time of the research, scientists screened more than 19,000 small molecules to test their ability in extending yeast-lifespan. It was noted that LCA contributed significantly under both normal as well as stressed conditions. It was therefore concluded that LCA extends longevity by targeting two different mechanisms. The first system probably occurs regardless of the number of calories and includes day-to-day or housekeeping proteins. The second system seemingly takes place during calorie-restriction and involves stressor proteins. The cause of both these mechanisms to suppress the pro-aging process is apparently unknown.

Vladimir Titorenko, Concordia University Research Chair in Genomics, Cell Biology and Aging, a professor in the Department of Biology and senior investigator, said, “Although we found that LCA greatly extends yeast longevity, yeast do not synthesize this or any other bile acid found in mammals. It may be that yeast have evolved to sense bile acids as mildly toxic molecules and respond by undergoing life-extending changes. It is conceivable that the life-extending potential of LCA may be relevant to humans as well.”

Even though LCA is affirmed to extend longevity in yeast, further investigations are required to ascertain this in other species too. Previous research has also described bile acids as beneficial to health and longevity. Bile acids can possibly be employed as pharmaceutical agents for the treatment of diabetes, obesity and various metabolic disorders, which can all be age-related. These acids may also help achieve a healthy aging life.

The research is published in the journal Aging.