Alcohol DOUBLES LIFESPAN, helps resist stress

LazyLion

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http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/01/20/alcohol_doubles_lifespan/

Alcohol DOUBLES LIFESPAN, helps resist stress

We're filing this from the pub, naturally

Pour yourself another one, quickly, as scientists have proven that alcohol can double life-span.

Moderate levels of alcohol delivered an increase in longevity among test subjects in a recent study that Steven Clarke, UCLA professor of chemistry and biochemistry and senior author on a study published yesterday in the journal PLoS One [1], described as "shocking".

"This finding floored us" he told the UCLA newsletter [2].

The booze boost was particularly strong for test subjects put under stressful conditions, with the scientists noting that the addition of small amounts of pure alcohol produced significantly more robust looking subjects, compared to a control "teetotal" group.

The test subjects in this case were worms, though the scientists, and indeed the Register editorial team believe the research is highly likely to be applicable to humans.

The C elegans worms tested are often used as a model in experiments into human ageing, and indeed we share half of our genes with the soft-bodied mud-munchers.

The discovery came about accidentally in an experiment that was originally intended to test reactions to cholesterol. Tiny amounts of ethanol were used to dissolve the cholesterol in the liquid surrounding the worms. The scientists were stunned to see that it doubled the lifespan of worm larvae from an average of 10-15 days to 20-30.

Further tests found that it was the alcohol that turned out to give the magic life-boost rather than cholesterol.

Stressed worms benefited particularly strongly from the drink:

What is even more interesting is the fact that the worms are in a stressed developmental stage. At high magnifications under the microscope, it was amazing to see how the worms given a little ethanol looked significantly more robust than worms not given ethanol.

Researcher Shilpi Khare suggested that the benefits could come from the biochemical reactions that the alcohol unleashed:

We show that very low doses of ethanol can be a worm 'lifesaver' under starvation stress conditions," Khare added. "While the mechanism of action is still not clearly understood, our evidence indicates that these 1 millimeter–long roundworms could be utilizing ethanol directly as a precursor for biosynthesis of high-energy metabolic intermediates or indirectly as a signal to extend life span. These findings could potentially aid researchers in determining how human physiology is altered to induce cardio-protective and other beneficial effects in response to low alcohol consumption.

However, even for worms, binge drinking is not encouraged - if the worms are given much higher concentrations of ethanol, they experience harmful neurological effects and die, the scientists note.

The ideal, life-extending brew doesn't sound like the most appetizing cocktail: "The concentrations correspond to a tablespoon of ethanol in a bathtub full of water or the alcohol in one beer diluted into a hundred gallons of water," Clarke said. ®
 

spiff

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might some truth there - all I can say is my grandmother's ex was a full on alcoholic, and he out lived her by 20yrs! he went on to out live my mother - who hated his guts by another 10yrs!
 

KleinBoontjie

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Yeah, this is like common knowledge to me. Like they say, if you practice everyday, you'll become an expert in no time. :twisted:
 

Sherbang

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Heading should be "Extremely TINY amounts of Alcohol DOUBLES LIFESPAN , helps resist stress IN WORMS

The concentrations correspond to a tablespoon of ethanol in a bathtub full of water or the alcohol in one beer diluted into a hundred gallons of water," Clarke said.

Why would such little ethanol have such an effect on longevity?

"We don't know all the answers," Clarke acknowledged. "It's possible there is a trivial explanation, but I don't think that's the case. We know that if we increase the ethanol concentration, they do not live longer. This extremely low level is the maximum that is beneficial for them."

The scientists found that when they raised the ethanol level by a factor of 80, it did not increase the life span of the worms.
 

Ekstasis

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Heading should be "Extremely TINY amounts of Alcohol DOUBLES LIFESPAN , helps resist stress IN WORMS
+1000, but for those who believes this nonsense, drink away!

Alcohol in very moderate use can help with better blood circulation, lowering the risk of a heart attack or stroke. This is why many old folk believed in a nightcap. Whisky and dry white wine works the best for this.

Diabetics might find this a good precautionary method of lowering the risk of limb amputation due to bad circulation.
 

Sherbang

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How the hell do you stress out a worm?

Starve them.

Clarke's research team -- Paola Castro, Shilpi Khare and Brian Young -- studied thousands of these worms during the first hours of their lives, while they were still in a larval stage. The worms normally live for about 15 days and can survive with nothing to eat for roughly 10 to 12 days.

"Our finding is that tiny amounts of ethanol can make them survive 20 to 40 days," Clarke said.

We show that very low doses of ethanol can be a worm 'lifesaver' under starvation stress conditions," Khare added.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120120184540.htm
 

R13...

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This is very good news.


For worms. Someone should let them know.
 

DigitalSoldier

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might some truth there - all I can say is my grandmother's ex was a full on alcoholic, and he out lived her by 20yrs! he went on to out live my mother - who hated his guts by another 10yrs!

my step dad is also a full on alcoholic and I hate his guts, but he just don't want to die.
 
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