The average life span of smokers is more than 10 years shorter than that of non-smokers, and it is said that smoking is a factor that accelerates aging. However, the details of the mechanism that accelerates aging due to smoking was not yet clear. Now, a research group led by Dr. Kaori Nakanishi, Assistant Professor, and Dr. Keiko Takihara, Professor, at the Health Care Center, Osaka University, have found that smoking habits affected levels of the aging-related molecule α-klotho (αKl) in blood serum. In addition, this group also elucidated that smoking causes a rise in the blood serum concentration of fibroblast growth factor-21 (FGF-21), a factor related to metabolism that has gained considerable attention in recent years. It is believed that these research results could serve as a key to clarifying the mechanism that accelerates aging in smokers, and provide new knowledge about aging-related diseases caused by smoking and about prevention of smoking-related accelerated aging. The new research results were published online on September 24, 2015 in an open-access article in Nature’s journal Scientific Reports. The article is titled “Klotho-Related Molecules Upregulated by Smoking Habit in Apparently Healthy Men: A Cross-Sectional Study.” The Osaka University group focused on the relationship between smoking and aging, examining the involvement of α-klotho in the advancement of aging due to smoking. It was found that the levels of FGF-21, α-klotho, and interleukin-6 (IL-6), a cytokine related to inflammation, were all significantly higher in smokers than in never-smokers. In addition, the blood serum concentration of α-klotho rose in stressful conditions such as lack of sleep and being under emotional stress outside of smoking.
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