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A paradox in Anti-Aging Research: Involving Protein Restriction & Insulin

There is a paradox in anti-aging research that advocates for:

  • Low or no animal protein

Despite glucose-lowering drugs like acarbose and canagliflozin showing impressive lifespan extension benefits in mice in the NIH’s Intervention Testing Program.

Image via Stable Diffusion

Why is it a paradox?

Because if you cut out animal products, you:

  • Decrease satiety – potentially making you more vulnerable to cravings or eating bad food
  • Almost inevitably increase carbohydrate and glucose consumption.

Not good!

Therefore you either need:

  • An incredibly strict diet
  • Calorie control/restriction
  • Or to add drugs to modulate glucose

However, with animal products, you can achieve low “area under the curve” glucose levels without the use of drugs or calorie restriction.

Image source

This is because:

  • Fat does not stimulate insulin secretion – and it’s easy to get healthy non-plant-based fats, such as tallow or grass-fed butter.
  • Protein stimulates insulin secretion, but less so than many plant-based carbohydrates and simple sugars.

So…

This suggests we need to figure out if, in humans, the restriction of protein and/or methionine is as important as the lowering of glucose and insulin.

It’s quite possible that having low blood glucose/insulin + plenty of animal protein + fat is superior.

Sometimes there is emphasis on amino acids being regulators of mTOR. However, insulin is also a regulator of mTOR.

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