The human quest for longer life may be one step closer, thanks to research from Concordia University. Published in the journal Aging, a new study is the first to identify the role of a bile acid, called lithocholic acid (LCA), in extending the lifespan of normally aging yeast. The findings may have significant implications for human longevity and health, as yeast share some common elements with people.

"Although we found that LCA greatly extends yeast longevity, yeast do not synthesize this or any other bile acid found in mammals," says senior author Vladimir Titorenko, Concordia University Research Chair in Genomics, Cell Biology and Aging and a professor in the Department of Biology. "It may be that yeast have evolved to sense bile acids as mildly toxic molecules and respond by undergoing life-extending changes. It is conceivable that the life-extending potential of LCA may be relevant to humans as well."

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