Eating plenty of green peas, soybeans, corn and blue cheese, could help you live longer by warding off disease, experts have discovered.
The foods, all rich in a compound called spermidine, could help stave off cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, among others.Scientists at the Weizmann Institute in Israel discovered that spermidine reverses the body’s circadian rhythm, making it ‘younger’ and less prone to the age-related diseases.
They note that falling levels of polyamines, compounds that are present in all living cells, cause circadian rhythms to slow down.
This effect was reversed by a dietary supplementation containing spermidine, when given to mice.
Senior author, Dr. Gad Asher, said: “This discovery demonstrates the tight intertwining between circadian clocks and metabolism and opens new possibilities for nutritional interventions that modulate the clock’s function.
“Impaired circadian rhythmicity has been linked to a wide variety of age-related diseases, including cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and inflammation.”
Polyamines are essential molecules present in all living organisms.
They are derived from dietary sources and are synthesized by the body’s cells, in turn regulating a variety of key cellular processes, such as cell growth and proliferation.
Asher and his team of researchers suspected that polyamines might also play a role in circadian biology, because they are known to influence the clock’s functions.
When young mice were treated with a drug that inhibits polyamine synthesis, their circadian clock slowed down by around 11 minutes per day, compared to those mice who received no treatment.
In contrast, adult mice that received extra spermidine in their drinking water had clocks that ran about eight minutes faster, than those of untreated mice.
The effects of polyamines on the circadian clock were less pronounced in mice than in cells due to the tight regulation of these critcial compounds in their natural physiological context.
However, even subtle clock deviations have been associated with a wide variety of metabolic and age-related diseases.