Experts warn that the smell of food can cause the processes of accelerated aging in the body, scientists from South Korea came to such conclusions.
The sense of smell and taste are interconnected and these, like other feelings, arise due to the activation of sensory neurons.
Earlier studies found that sensory neurons also participate in aging processes in animals, but data on how much taste and olfactory senses are associated with the speed of aging processes is not enough. Scientists managed to find out only that if the sensory neurons are damaged, FOXO protein is activated, which slows down the aging of the organism.
It is this fact that led scientists to the idea of conducting several experiments on nematodes (roundworms) in order to find out the cause of such an interrelation. Already in the first experiment, the scientists found out. That the taste and aroma of food causes worms to produce insulin-6, a hormone that reduces the activity of FOXO protein, and, consequently, this could be the cause of accelerated aging. Further experiments showed that a similar reaction occurred also during the artificial activation of sensory neurons, namely, taste and smell by means of special radiation (nematodes did not receive any food at the same time).
The researchers suggested that the results obtained are relevant not only for roundworms, but also for humans, but to confirm this, more research should be carried out. The results of their work, South Korean specialists published in one of the famous scientific publications.
Nematodes not for the first time help scientists to explore the mechanisms of aging, for example, in one of the public universities in the United States, researchers using roundworms identified substances, based on can develop effective drugs against aging.
Scientists have studied the existing relationship between emotional overexertion and the accelerated aging process, as a result of experiments on nematodes and the study of the health of a group of people, experts have identified genes that to some extent control life expectancy. Scientists have found that emotional overstrain, sudden mood changes are related to the work of some genes that affect life expectancy in general, but the main role in this process, according to experts, is played by the ANK3 gene.
Specialists conducted experiments with conventional as well as genetically modified nematodes, and also examined the state of health of mentally healthy people and having any mental problems, including suicides.
As a result, stress and some mental illness can activate some genes, including ANK3, which can also cause accelerated aging processes and lead to premature death. The high activity of the ANK3 gene was observed in humans, with a hereditary predisposition to early aging.
According to experts, it is possible to develop a drug that normalizes the work of genes and helps the body to protect itself from the harmful effects of stress. Scientists noted that the composition may include vitamin D, estrogen-like compounds and other active substances.