Canavanine-induced longevity in mice may require diets with greater than 15.7% protein

Nutr Metab (Lond). 2005 Feb 25;2(1):7. doi: 10.1186/1743-7075-2-7.


BACKGROUND: Dietary administration of 1% canavanine had been shown to improve survival in female BALB/c mice consuming diets containing 23.4% protein (dry matter basis). METHODS: In order to determine if this effect also obtains at more moderate dietary protein concentrations, 30 female BALB/c mice were fed a basal diet with 14% protein (15.7% dry matter basis) and another 30 were fed the same diet plus 1% canavanine. RESULTS: Neither mean (Control 873.2 d, Canavanine 870.0 d; SEM = 34.2 d; P = 0.949 from ANOVA) nor median (Control 902 d, Canavanine 884.5 d; P = 0.9058 from Mann-Whitney) lifespans differed between groups.Although mean antinuclear antibody (ANA) titers did not differ between control and canavanine-treated mice at 833 days of age (19.84 vs 20.39 respectively; SEM = 2.64; P = 0.889 from ANOVA), one canavanine-treated mouse displayed an outlying ANA value of 50 (next lower value = 30) denoting possible early sign of incipient autoimmune disease in that individual. CONCLUSION: There may be an interaction between dietary protein level and canavanine with respect to lifespan in mice.