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Secrets of the Amish

Author: admin

The importance of family and religion, the need to live simply and the shunning of modern technology…these are the hallmarks of this community, which finds its origins in Europe but subsequently migrated to the US. Now, scientists from Chicago’s Northwestern University have discovered a rare genetic mutation in the Amish people that appears to protect against biological ageing. As London newspaper The Guardian reports, their study of 177 members of the Old Order Amish in Berne, Indiana, identified 43 people who had inherited one normal and one mutated version of a gene called Serpine1. Those with the mutated version typically lived to the age of 85, a decade longer than those who didn’t carry it; they also displayed better metabolic health and were less prone to diabetes. The Serpine1 gene provides the body with instructions to make a protein called PAI-1; it has already been proven in animals that reducing levels of PAI-1 can protect against ageing and age-related diseases. Interestingly, this Amish group is the only known community to carry the mutation that naturally suppresses levels of PAI-1—those with the single mutated gene had 50 per cent lower levels of the protein in their blood. The study has been published in journal Science Advances.

Featured in Harmony — Celebrate Age Magazine
February 2018