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Fasting hormone helps mice live longer

Protein tricks body into starvation mode

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2:33pm, October 19, 2012

New work suggests that a hormone that makes the body think it’s starving could prolong life about as long as severely cutting calories does but without the denial.

A hormone called fibroblast growth factor-21, or FGF21, lengthened the lives of mice that had been genetically engineered to constantly produce large amounts of the protein, researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas report online October 15 in eLife. The hormone is normally made by the liver during fasting and may tap into some of the same life-extending biochemical processes as does caloric restriction, a proven longevity booster.

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