Gene deletion in mice shown to reduce age-related inflammation, study finds

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A recent study by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) revealed that deactivation of the gene PLa2g7 mimicked the positive effects on health span of calorie restriction seen in humans.

The report, published in the journal Science, was an extension of a previous investigation, which showed a correlation between a 14 percent caloric restriction (CR) in humans and beneficial effects on health span. For this study, researchers set to out to better understand the mechanisms behind CR and its benefits to human health. To do so, researchers analyzed the changes in immune function in the participants who had undergone CR in the previous study.

The study’s researchers identified a reduced expression in the gene, PLa2g7, in those who restricted their calories. As a result of their findings, researchers deactivated PLa2g7 in mice to see if the deletion had similar effects on the mice’s health span as CR in humans. The study found mice with the deleted gene had reduced aged-related inflammation and improved thymic and metabolic function.

The study results suggest that reducing the expression of PLa2g7 may have similar health benefits to controlled CR. Integrative practitioners may want to refer to this study to gain greater knowledge on how and why controlled CR could benefit their patients’ health span.