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Study: Yellow Dye Could Have Anti-Aging Properties

A recent study indicated that a common artificial color could help bolster longevity.

A recent study indicated that a common artificial color could help bolster longevity.

Researchers from the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in California, Seeker reports, exposed 44,000 roundworms of various species to a series of compounds and documented their lifespans.

Roundworms generally live 15 to 20 days, but some of the worms exposed to Basic Yellow 1, also known as Thioflavin T, lived up to twice that span, according to the study published in the journal Nature Communications.

Buck Institute researchers told Seeker that the dye likely prevents protein damage associated with aging, including age-related diseases such as Alzheimer's.

"Proteins lose their 3D shape during aging and as a result cannot function properly. ... Thioflavin T prevents this, at least in worms," co-senior author Gordon Lithgow told the publication. "It also turns on lots of genes that are the natural defense system to prevent protein misfolding."

Although significant additional research on the compound will be needed, scientists speculated that it could eventually be utilized in anti-aging drugs that hopefully enable humans to remain healthier as they grow older.

Researchers also cautioned that Basic Yellow 1 is far from harmless.

"At high concentrations, it is clearly toxic and kills the worms, just like most drugs," Lithgow noted.

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