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High leucine in Meat and Dairy increases Aging, Diabetes, Obesity
The following excerpts are from abstracts from two scientific papers published by the National Institute of Health, that indicate that increased levels of the amino acid leucine, which meat and dairy foods supply in high amounts, can accelerate aging (reduce lifespan) by a molecular mechanism called “TOR Signaling,” as well as increase the likelihood of developing adult onset (type 2) diabetes and obesity. Please especially note the emphasized passages:

Quote:Leucine signaling in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes and obesity


Epidemiological evidence points to INCREASED DAIRY AND MEAT CONSUMPTION, staples of the Western diet, as MAJOR RISK FACTORS FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF TYPE 2 DIABETES (T2D). This paper presents a new concept and comprehensive review of LEUCINE-mediated cell signaling explaining the pathogenesis of T2D and obesity by leucine-induced over-stimulation of mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1).
DAIRY PROTEINS AND MEAT stimulate insulin/insulin-like growth factor 1 signaling and PROVIDE HIGH AMOUNTS OF LEUCINE, a primary and independent stimulator for mTORC1 activation….Plant-derived polyphenols and flavonoids are identified as natural inhibitors of mTORC1 and exert anti-diabetic and anti-obesity effects…. ATTENUATION OF leucine-mediated mTORC1 signaling by defining appropriate upper limits of the daily intake of LEUCINE-RICH ANIMAL AND DAIRY PROTEINS may offer a great chance for the prevention of T2D and obesity, as well as other epidemic diseases of civilization with increased mTORC1 signaling, especially cancer and neurodegenerative diseases, which are frequently associated with T2D.

Quote:TOR signaling never gets old: Aging, longevity and TORC1 activity


The TOR (target of rapamycin) signal transduction network monitors intra- and extracellular conditions that favor cell growth. Research during the last decade has revealed a modular structure of the TOR signaling network. Each signaling module senses a particular set of signals from the cellular milieu and exerts regulatory control towards TOR activity. The TOR pathway responds to growth factor signals, nutrient availability, and cellular stresses like hypoxia and energy stress. The signaling modules and their molecular components constituting the TOR network are remarkably conserved in both sequence and function across species. In yeast, roundworms, flies, and mice, THE TOR PATHWAY HAS BEEN SHOWN TO REGULATE LIFESPAN. Correspondingly, genetic, dietary or pharmacological manipulation of individual signaling modules as well as TOR activity itself EXTENDS LIFESPAN in these model organisms. We discuss the potential impact of manipulating TOR activity for human health and lifespan.
Someone among my email contacts to whom I sent the above has expressed the wish that my previous mailing were “written in English.” S1

I tried to keep it simple and understandable by only using extracts from the abstracts that introduce and summarize the papers. I had to include some technical detail, because I also sent this same mailing to a number of technically trained people, including my doctor.

Maybe I can explain it in "English." Proteins are comprised of amino acids. There are nine amino acids that we have to have in our diet. One of them is leucine. However, extensive research over the past ten years has revealed that if there is too much leucine, it increases something on a molecular level in the cells in our bodies called "TOR signaling," which has been shown to contribute to the development of adult onset (type 2) diabetes, and also to obesity. Further studies have shown that this same mechanism also causes more rapid aging--shortening lifespan. There are certain chemicals in plant foods ("plant-derived polyphenols and flavonoids") that help to inhibit the kind of TOR signaling that causes diabetes, obesity, and accelerated aging. It is believed that by avoiding meats and dairy products, which supply leucine in high amounts, the result also will be prevention of diabetes, obesity, and rapid aging--thus resulting in extended lifespan.

So the vegans are right--we need to avoid all dairy products, as well.

Of course, we have known these things have to be true, because of the famous studies of Seventh-day Adventists*, which showed that vegetarian Adventists live seven years longer than Adventists who eat meat, and that vegan Adventists who also eat no dairy products, on average live 12 years longer than Adventists who eat meat. We always assumed that this was because of various general undesirable characteristics of meat and dairy products, like increased disease, cholesterol, etc. But now, for the first time, we have the actual, exact biochemical mechanism identified which explains why these things are so.

*For those who don't know, 58,000 Seventh-day Adventists in Southern California were chosen for these studies because none of them smoke or use alcoholic beverages, but only about half are vegetarians, while the other half still eat meat. They also tend to come from about the same middle class socio-economic level. Thus all other factors were removed except diet, finally proving beyond dispute the superiority of the vegetarian and vegan diets for promoting health and longevity.
I found this table with relevant information:

Quote:90 minutes after eating a meal, content of blood in rats tested, leucine content expressed in μmol/L [or micromols] per liter:

Baseline:…….84 ±4.6
Wheat:……….78 ±4.3
Soy:…………...84 ±5.6
Egg:………….146 ±8.4
Whey:……...192 ±11.4
Link: http://nutritionandmetabolism.biomedcent...-7075-9-67
(From Table 4.)

From this it appears that egg and whey (a milk product) produce the highest increase in blood leucine levels, while wheat and soy maintain normal blood leucine levels.

Here is a ranking of some high leucine foods:


Ranking of leucine content of foods based on 200 calorie portions

Quote:Rank: Food:
1 Egg, white, raw, fresh
Leucine: 4233mg

2 Soy protein isolate, potassium type, crude protein basis
Leucine: 4226mg

14 Chicken, broilers or fryers, breast, meat only, cooked, rotisserie, original seasoning
Leucine: 3698mg

19 Fish, tuna, light, canned in water, drained solids
Leucine: 3574mg

22 Turkey, fryer-roasters, light meat, meat only, raw
Leucine: 3569mg

25 Fish, cod, Pacific, cooked, dry heat
Leucine: 3552mg

35 Cheese, cottage, lowfat, 1% milkfat
Leucine: 3540mg

104 Pork, Leg sirloin tip roast, boneless, separable lean and fat, cooked, braised
Leucine: 3282mg

167 Beef, variety meats and by-products, spleen, cooked, braised
Leucine: 3058mg

This lists soy as very high in leucine, but note that the previous table of blood levels of leucine in rats indicates that soy as eaten (NOT as a concentrate) does not appreciatively increase the blood level of leucine in rats. So maybe the soy-based meat analogs, like the Morningstar Farms products you can buy at Kroger, are OK, after all.

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