Tiny Amounts of Alcohol Might Extend Life

Stefan Fincken
January 23rd 2012

A new study on the effects of cholesterol on the life span of Caenorhabditiselegans, a tiny worm often used in experimentation, resulted in some surprising finds. The life span of the critters was doubled. Now it turned out it wasn't the cholesterol after all. The cause of the effect was set in motion by the solvent used to deliver the cholesterol. The solvent used? Alcohol.

Now we all know the detrimental effects of alcohol on the human body. So don't start drinking just yet! The amount of alcohol administered to Caenorhabditis elegans was only a tiny amount. Equivalent to a tablespoon of ethanol in a bathtub full of water or the alcohol in one beer diluted into a hundred gallons of water. Increasing the amount is not very good for the wiggly creatures.

Although not certain on how tiny amounts of alcohol help the worms live longer. It does open some interesting speculation about the beneficial effects of alcohol on humans. If we cut our consumption of the toxic, to a dose proportional to that of what Caenorhabditiselegans helps to live longer, it might do the same for us. After all, the poison is in the dose.

And if the benefits turn out to be experimentally proven, will we ever succeed to make it our next nature to shrink our - almost ritualistic - consumption of the fire water.

via: UCLA Newsroom

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