Campodimele’s inhabitants Longevity
The small town of Campodimele, located 150 km from Rome, is famous for the advanced age reached by its inhabitants. A survey by the World Health Organization, attributed this peculiarity to the lifestyle and food of the inhabitants, but not so.
A recent study of the University “La Sapienza” in Rome, and published in the journal “Journal Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism“, shows that the inhabitants have a genetic variant that explains their longevity. The researchers conducted a thorough screening on clinical and genetic characteristics of the population which get particularly low cholesterol values and in particular of the “bad cholesterol” or LDL.
The study finds a genetic mutation in the gene that synthesizes a protein called “Angptl3” that functions as a brake to the elimination of the lipoproteins that carry cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. The lack of this protein, in people who enjoy good health, leads to the hypothesis that this molecule could be create, and through some drug, protect people at high risk of atherosclerosis, e.g.
The centenarians inhabitants of Campodimele, healthy carriers of this mutation, aside from presenting low values of cholesterol, also enjoy some protection against atherosclerosis and ischemic heart disease related to diabetes. Therefore, these findings may have important implications for drug discovery.