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Anti-Paleo Diet Boosts Life-Extending Hormone

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New research from the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre suggests that a low protein, high carbohydrate diet may be the most effective for stimulating a hormone with life-extending and obesity-fighting benefits.

The findings, published in Cell Metabolism, paint a clearer picture of the role of the little-known “fountain of youth” hormone fibroblast growth factor-21 (FGF21), which is produced primarily in the liver.

Previous studies have shown that FGF21 plays a role in curbing appetite, moderating metabolism, improving the immune system and extending lifespan. It is also currently used as a therapeutic target for diabetes, yet little is known about how this hormone is triggered and released in the body.

“Despite the popularity of high protein ‘paleo’ diets, our research suggests that the exact opposite may be best for us as we age – that a low protein, high carbohydrate diet was the most beneficial for late-life health and longevity,” said lead author Dr Samantha Solon-Biet.

“The nutritional context in which FGF21 is most elevated is dependent on the balance of protein to carbohydrate, and this balance was also shown to be important in how this hormone helps to mediate protein hunger.

The researchers fed 858 mice one of 25 diets that varied in protein, carbohydrate, fat and energy content. They then mapped these macronutrient...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.