A new study by American scientists, published in the latest issue of the journal PLoS One, showed that the life expectancy of roundworms who received low doses of ethanol was increased to 5 or even 25 days, compared with their fellow drinkers.
A group of scientists led by Professor Stephen Clarke (Steven Clarke) from the University of California at Los Angeles were able to demonstrate in an experiment conducted on the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, that small amounts of alcohol, ie ethanol, can significantly extend the life of worms.
Caenorhabditis elegans - are tiny almost transparent round worms, which are valued by researchers for a short life cycle, providing excellent conditions for work. From a genetic point of view, they have a lot of similar features with higher animals, including humans. Habitat for nematodes is soil, and they feed mainly bacteria.
According to Professor Clark, in the course of the experiment, they observed the gradual development of the worm turns from larvae to adults. It was during this period, and the addition was carried out in a certain amount of food ethanol. As you know, Caenorhabditis elegans live no more than 15 days. "Research has shown that nematodes receiving meager doses of ethyl, life expectancy has increased to 20-40 days," - said Clark.
To make these protozoans "consume" alcohol, more diluted ethyl alcohol, the researchers mixed it with the cholesterol and the mixture fed worms. "We found that with water at a ratio of 1:1000 and 1:20000 ethanol even significantly extended the life of nematodes. This is a fairly low concentrations of alcohol, and roundworms are impacted positively "- said Clark.
According to scientists, how alcohol prolongs the life of nematodes, is still a mystery to them. The authors of the study suggest that the concentrations used in their experiment, the worms were an additional source of energy.
More interesting is the fact that the nematodes in the experiment were in some stage of development - from the larval stage to the adult. "It was striking to see through a microscope, that animals fed a certain amount of ethanol grew more strongly than individuals who do not receive ethanol at all" - said Clark.