Chronic pain in humans is associated with worse health and a shorter lifespan. [and not just from the chronic stress and hormonal changes, Ed.]
the activity of a pain receptor called TRPV1 regulates lifespan and metabolic health in mice. The study suggests that pain perception can affect the aging process and reveals novel strategies that could improve metabolic health and longevity in humans.
“The TRPV1 receptor is a major drug target with many known drugs in the clinic that can affect its function,” says senior study author Andrew Dillin of the University of California, Berkeley. “Finding that manipulation of this receptor can not only promote a youthful metabolism but also increase lifespan should be highly significant for age-related maladies, diabetes being a major one.”
mice lacking TRPV1 are protected against diet-induced obesity,
Intriguingly, diets rich in capsaicin – the active molecule of chili peppers that can overstimulate and kill TRPV1 neurons – have long been linked to lower incidents of diabetes and metabolic problems in humans.
mice genetically manipulated to lack TRPV1 receptors lived on average nearly four months, or about 14%, longer than normal mice.
due to low levels of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) … these mice showed improved glucose tolerance – the ability to quickly clear sugar from the blood – as well as signs that they could burn more calories without exercising more than normal.
chronic ingestion of compounds that affect TRPV1 such as capsaicin might help prevent metabolic decline with age and lead to increased longevity in humans.“