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A new study by my mentor Dr. Bruce Ames proposes that 10 known compounds be classified as potential longevity vitamins due to their interaction with proteins that protect against diseases of aging. The concept is based on the Triage Theory, which classifies proteins and enzymes as either survival proteins, needed for survival and reproduction, or longevity proteins, which protect against future damage and are sacrificed in case of vitamin shortage, leading to an acceleration of insidious diseases of aging.
These putative “longevity vitamins” include: ergothioneine (a fungal antioxidant found in mushrooms), queuine (a bacterial metabolite found in the gut), PQQ (a bacterial metabolite in soil that is taken up by plants ), lutein and zeaxanthin (concentrated in leafy greens), lycopene (found in tomatoes), alpha- and beta-carotene, and cryptoxanthin (all plant antioxidant carotenoids), astaxanthin (a marine carotenoid found in salmon and krill), and taurine (found in meat).