So far I have:
- Protein restriction may be as effective as caloric restriction on life extension... in fact protein restriction may be WHY caloric restriction works, for all I know...
- Leucine and Methinoine restriction has been shown to have similar effects and, for all I know might be WHY protein restriction works!!! Let me know if I'm off in this reasoning.
- Extra dietary Glycine might have the same effect as restricting Methenoine, I think it helps eliminate excess Methenoine or something... (thank you, @Stephen 4 and @Mscott1!)
An interesting picture is coming together. Any other insights on the effects of amino acid balance on the aging process?
It seems to me that if we can reduce insulin + IGF, and manage our aging signals like mTOR (what others are there?) then enhanced health and longevity could be attained without engaging in any detrimental practices like starvation.
asked byMethodician (624)
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on April 13, 2014
at 01:18 AM
I want to start off by saying that I think that this is a great question. I love to see people striving for the best!
I personally have experimented with my diet and exercise patterns for a few years now, 3 or 4 probably. Something I'm trying now is experimenting with Glycine and Proline rich foods.@Glib mentioned that nutrition data doesn't have amino acid profiles on many organ meats which is true. I believe that if a food smells or tastes bad then that is your body saying not to eat it. Because of that I've tried Beef Tendons and Burnt Beef Skin and discontinued their use. I want a natural source and as scantly processed as possible, because of this I've also tried and stopped Pork Rinds (personal preference). These 3 foods significantly effected my bowels in a positive manner and I usually have okay bowels.
Today I went to Kroger (grocery store) and found some small fish with relatively low fat (I'm not into a ton of PUFAs, personal taste). The fish I bought is called Haddock and the skin is on. I like chicken skin, and fish skin is tasting just as nice to me, especially when it's a little crispy. Make sure the fish are descaled obviously, the fish in the store should already be descaled though.
In passing I have done some research on glycine (only because it is the most common amino acid in collagen, which is the most common protein in your body [accounting for about a third of the protein in your body]). Proline is also abundant in collagen / connective tissue. I will mention some of the things I've found which I believe are relevant. I'm going by memory and these points are only meant to stimulate personal research on your part and are not necessarily meant to be 100% accurate:
- Glycine lowered igf1 from 1.4 to 1 in controls vs glycine supplemented groups.
- Glycine at 12% of diet increased life expectancy but slightly decreased overall body size in mice. Similar life extension without a decrease in body size occurred at 8% supplemented glycine in diet.
- Glycine reduced mortality in sepsis which was induced in mice from 50% to 0% (zero is not a type).
- Glycine will lower your blood pressure (eating 2 bags of pork rinds a day for 3 days dropped my BP from approx. 130/78 to approx 109/59). Obviously my n=1 isn't clinical but there is clinical evidence to support this.
- Assuming 95% success in collagen recycling, the body is deficient in Glycine by 10g/day assuming 3g dietary intake and 2g conversion from serine.
Glycine is used in the clinical treatment of schizophrenia.
The studies that show which amino acids are essential or not are based on the promotion of growth. The essential amino acids promote growth (original studies done by cattle industries to increase profits) and not necessarily health (assuming protein to meet essential bodily functions is met). Growth is independent of health just as quantity is independent of quality.
The skin is the biggest organ in the body. When we eat only muscle meats we will necessarily have an unbalanced amino acid profile in our diet. How well our bodies adjust to this imbalance will vary on an individual basis and genetic factors could theoretically come into play here.
I personally do not believe that simply including glycine rich foods will be a magic cure all. I believe that regular exercise, as well as other micro and macro nutrients will be necessary to have ideal health and to thrive. That being said I think there is sound scientific and anecdotal evidence that balancing these amino acids will significantly improve many people's Quality of life.
After a lot of experimenting I've fine tuned my personal habits and used those fine tunnings to help people around me in my personal life. Some people say this is obsessive behavior, but I've come to the conclusion that I have an addictive personality, luckily I've found a hobby to get addicted to that will hopefully improve quality of life for me and others alike!
Hopefully I've given you a few ideas to further research yourself, and some food ideas (fish with skin, I'm trying haddock, but feel free to experiment with any fish, any organ or any animal).
Ray Peat also has an article titled Gelatin, stress, longevity where a few dozen articles cited might pique further interest. Best of luck finding something that works for you and those around you!
on April 12, 2014
at 11:57 PM
It is all very interesting. If there is an ideal fat spectrum, I see no reason why there should not be an ideal protein spectrum. Spectra can be different, more methionine (met) during childhood, more glycine during adulthood. I note that in an adult protein needs are mostly to replace membrane losses (skin and gut), therefore more glycine is a natural need.
Last night I had to be in an overseas Skype conference. I had a lot of time to research the issue. nutritiondata.com is really a limited tool, it does not tell you the protein spectrum for skin, for tripe, for tendons, it just tells you that if you want glycine you have to eat gelatin. To me it is clear that the glycine/met ratio and glycine/leucine ratios matter.
and if you pull enough protein spectra from nutrition data a fairly clear cut picture emerges. the foods with too high met are fish, muscle meat, eggs (both yolk and white), and worst of all dairy. The foods with a gly./met ratio of 2.5-3 are offal, fatty cuts (pork and beef), whole chicken, mollusks. Out of curiosity, I also checked the protein profile of black soldier fly larvae at
and came out with 2.5-3 numbers too.
So my conclusions are that you want to shift as much as possible away from "western" paleo (standard western protein sources), and you can not really do without broth. I was able Friday to upload all those papers that Stephen and Scott linked (great job all three of you), and I think this protein profile thing has legs.