Low-Thyroid and Longevity?


Oct 21, 2013
So from the "Fighting Aging" website, is this quote (and embedded quote) <https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2010/08/thyroid-function-and-inherited-human-longevity.php>
This matter of thyroid hormones is largely an inherited factor in your biochemistry, but it is worth noting that the practice of calorie restriction (CR) is shown to reduce T3 levels - and there is every reason to expect this to be beneficial:

Long-term CR with adequate protein and micronutrient intake in lean and weight-stable healthy humans is associated with a sustained reduction in serum T3 concentration, similar to that found in CR rodents and monkeys. This effect is likely due to CR itself, rather than to a decrease in body fat mass, and could be involved in slowing the rate of aging.

Several years ago Michael Eades (the Protein Power guy) wrote on his blog that he thought low-carbing would mimic caloric restriction. Read his post about it here: http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/infl ... e-you-fit/
If we eat less or don’t eat, we discharge our cellular batteries, because we continue to use ATP but aren’t providing the energy via food to make more. If we exercise, we discharge our batteries, because we are consuming large amounts of ATP quickly, and unless we’re eating on the run – literally – we are not getting the food energy needed to replace our depleted ATP. So when we eat less and/or exercise, we put ourselves in a cellular battery discharge state.

Numerous studies have shown health and longevity benefits from eating less and exercising, though these prescriptions are tough to stick with for the long haul. If this is true, and I believe it is, then the body is better off health-wise to be in a battery-draining state more of the time than in a battery-charging state.


AMPK is one of the primary signaling proteins that monitors the ATP levels in the cells and signals for more energy when levels drop. When AMPK is activated indicating our cellular energy tanks are depleted, all kinds of good things happen. Here is a short list of metabolic efforts all kicked into action by activated AMPK and why they’re important. (adapted from ref #6)

Increases glucose uptake: We want to get glucose out of the blood and into the cells to burn.
Increases glycolysis: We need to break down glycogen (stored sugar) to get the glucose to burn.
Increases fatty acid oxidation: An obvious one. We want to start burning fat to replenish the depleted energy stores.
Increases mitochondrial biogenesis: we want to make more mitochondria to burn fat and generate as much ATP as possible.
Inhibits gluconeogenesis: We don’t want to spend energy making more sugar – we want to burn it.
Inhibits glycogen synthesis: Same thing – we don’t want to store sugar, we want to burn it.
Inhibits fatty acid and cholesterol synthesis: We don’t want to spend energy making fat and cholesterol.
Inhibits insulin secretion: We want insulin to be low, so that we can move stored fat and sugar to where it needs to be burned.

When our ATP tanks are filled to the bursting, as when we eat and are stuffed with food (especially carbohydrates) and/or we don’t exercise, all the above pathways go in the opposite direction. If we chronically overeat the wrong foods, our metabolic systems end up sending all the above pathways in the opposite direction most of the time.

So my takeaway is Dr. Eades is convinced that low-carbing has the same age-extending benefits as Low-calorie-ing, though it is kind of complicated.

Now, what about Peating?
From Ray's article on phosphates http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/phosphate-activation-aging.shtml

While increased phosphate slows mitochondrial energy production, decreasing its intracellular concentration increases the respiratory rate and the efficiency of ATP formation. A "deficiency" of polyunsaturated fatty acids has this effect (Nogueira, et al., 2001), but so does the consumption of fructose (Green, et al., 1993; Lu, et al., 1994).

So what does that have to do with thyroid function? That would take some more study to really flesh out, but my guess would be it is coincidental. Low carbers are notoriously hypothyroid, but if the age-extending beneficial effects of calorie restriction can be duplicated without the thyroid depression (fructose, avoiding PUFA's ala Peat), well, maybe age extension would be even longer.
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