Key Amino Acids Involved in Dietary Restriction Revealed

June 17, 2020 | Biotechnology

Reading time: 2-3 minutes

Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News (GEN) published an interesting article covering Biotech:

Dietary nutrients are key to influencing metabolic health. Some recent studies have shown that a diet with reduced protein could influence longevity/metabolic health. One approach is dietary protein dilution (DPD), where protein is reduced and replaced by other nutrient sources. DPD has been suggested to promote metabolic remodeling and health but the precise nutritional components driving this response remain elusive. Moderate DPD has been shown to promote longevity in multiple species including flies, rodents, and perhaps humans.

Recent studies done at the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI) in Australia have provided a new understanding of the roles two essential amino acids (EAA) play in metabolic health, which may help in the fight against obesity.

The work can be found published in Nature Communications in a paper titled, “Restriction of essential amino acids dictates the systemic metabolic response to dietary protein dilution.”

The mouse studies show that restriction of EAA are sufficient and necessary to confer the systemic metabolic effects of DPD. More specifically, the group found that by reducing the amount of the two amino acids threonine and tryptophan, in young healthy mice, they were able to burn more calories than they consumed. Without calorie reduction they were kept lean and healthy, without the side-effect of lower muscle mass. A low-threonine diet even protected mice that were morbidly obese and prone to developing type 2 diabetes.

While a moderate reduction in dietary protein and therefore essential amino acids can enhance vitality, diets devoid of this component can make people sick very quickly and are not recommended. However, this study has shown that a reconsideration of the functions of these two amino acids in nutrition warrants further exploration.

By mimicking an amino acid... You can view the complete article in the GEN – Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News Blog.

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