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NO for longevity — new evidence

Chemistry World reports today:

“Since 2005, a controversy has been raging about the role of nitric oxide (NO) in increasing the lifespan of various organisms. Now, US researchers may have direct evidence for NO’s apparent special powers, at least in the nematode model organism Caenorhabditis elegans.”

“the longevity debate was started by a 2005 Science paper by Enzo Nisoli and colleagues at Milan University. They reported that organisms – including yeasts and mice – on low calorie diets increased their production of NO.1 This kind of calorie restriction had already been shown to extend life above the average. Nisoli’s team’s claim was that, because NO plays such an important role in the body, its production in a calorie restricted organism may indicate that NO was involved in the lifespan extension effect in mammals.”

“Although an extremely toxic gas, even at concentrations as low as 80ppm, dissolved NO performs crucial signalling roles in the human body. It dilates blood vessels, controls hair growth and is involved in penile erection. The immune system uses NO as a signalling molecule, and, as one of the few free radicals present in our body, it also deploys it to kill bacteria. The 1998 Nobel prize in physiology or medicine was given to researchers for figuring out how this gas worked in the body.”


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