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Longevity vitamins and proteins

vitamins deficiency triage theory

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#1 Iporuru

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Posted 31 October 2018 - 06:48 PM

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 Oct 23;115(43):10836-10844. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1809045115. Epub 2018 Oct 15.
Prolonging healthy aging: Longevity vitamins and proteins.

Bruce N. Ames

PMID: 30322941



"It is proposed that proteins/enzymes be classified into two classes according to their essentiality for
immediate survival/reproduction and their function in long-term health: that is, survival proteins versus
longevity proteins. As proposed by the triage theory, a modest deficiency of one of the nutrients/cofactors
triggers a built-in rationing mechanism that favors the proteins needed for immediate survival and
reproduction (survival proteins) while sacrificing those needed to protect against future damage (longevity
proteins). Impairment of the function of longevity proteins results in an insidious acceleration of the risk of
diseases associated with aging. I also propose that nutrients required for the function of longevity proteins
constitute a class of vitamins that are here named “longevity vitamins.” I suggest that many such nutrients
play a dual role for both survival and longevity. The evidence for classifying taurine as a conditional vitamin,
and the following 10 compounds as putative longevity vitamins, is reviewed: the fungal antioxidant ergothioneine;
the bacterial metabolites pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) and queuine; and the plant antioxidant
carotenoids lutein, zeaxanthin, lycopene, α- and β-carotene, β-cryptoxanthin, and the marine carotenoid
. Because nutrient deficiencies are highly prevalent in the United States (and elsewhere), appropriate
supplementation and/or an improved diet could reduce much of the consequent risk of chronic
disease and premature aging."


"I propose that an optimal level of many of the known 30 vitamins and essential minerals/elements (V/M),
plus that of 11 new putative vitamins described herein, is necessary for promoting healthy aging. The “triage
theory” (1) had previously introduced the concept that proteins/enzymes that are sacrificed on a V/M shortage are

necessary for supporting long-term health. This insight is being broadened here to classify also many V/M as

necessary for supporting long-term health. I present evidence that the deficiency of many V/M specifically

increases the risk of future diseaseand shortens the lifespan. Thus, I propose that such V/M be named “longevity

vitamins,” and that proteins associated with them be named “longevity proteins.” Prolongation of healthy aging

has not been generally understood as being related to V/M levels. (...)


Longevity Proteins and Survival Proteins. Among the insights derived from the triage theory are the following concepts:

(i) not all proteins/enzymes are affected equally by a V/M deficiency; (ii) not all V/M are exclusively needed for short-term

survival; (iii) adequate V/M throughout life plays an important role in healthy aging. I propose that during triage rationing

proteins that are sacrificed to allow for survival belong to a category with the specific function of protecting against

diseases of aging. I propose to name them longevity proteins. In contrast, those needed for short-term survival
and reproduction, and thus preferentially supplied with a V/M necessary for their function (besides being also necessary

for later health) are referred to as “survival enzymes/proteins.” A fraction of the cofactor-requiring proteins that are

subject to triage rationing are not technically enzymes (e.g., regulatory or structural proteins).

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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: vitamins, deficiency, triage theory

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