Give ne back my hat!

How do I get me some of these isotopes? - Meat And Two Neutrons: The Key To A Longer Life

Food enhanced with isotopes is thought to produce bodily constituents and DNA more resistant to detrimental processes, like free radical attack. The isotopes replace atoms in susceptible bonds making these bonds stronger. 'Because these bonds are so much more stable, it should be possible to slow down the process of oxidation and ageing,' Shchepinov says.

Holly isomer batman!
Permalink son of parnas 
April 2nd, 2007 11:51pm
This is out of whack. Different isotopes cause enzymes to move across cell boundaries at different speeds. So if you switched to drinking heavy water, your cells wouldn't work properly and you'd end up dieing.
Permalink Peter 
April 3rd, 2007 12:25am
First of all 'isotopes' by itself doesn't mean anything -- all atoms are isotopes. What the story is saying is that molecules can be stabilized by choosing atoms with different weights than we get in our food supply (which is a mix anyway).

I'm a little dubious that potassium of atomic weight X is going to be stable in two completely different organic molecules, but let's let the scientists figure this out.
Eating a different portion of potassium isotopes could very well cause some other problem.

The whole thing has a few sci-fi flavors to it ...

... class segregation by isotope, not only what you eat but since it's in your skin, it's testable on the spot (country clubs and airlines would scan your portion of potassium 41). Nouveau riche can't fake that.

... heavier isotoped people can have higher BMI's without looking fat (cause that extra neutron is comfortably tucked away under the covers).

Permalink Send private email strawberry snowflake 
April 3rd, 2007 12:25am
I thought the whole point about isotopes was that behaved identically chemically
Permalink Billx 
April 3rd, 2007 6:45am
From wikipedia:

A neutral atom has the same number of electrons as protons. Thus, different isotopes of a given element all have the same number of protons and electrons and the same electronic structure; because the chemical behavior of an atom is largely determined by its electronic structure, isotopes exhibit nearly identical chemical behavior. The main exception to this is the kinetic isotope effect: due to their larger masses, heavier isotopes tend to react somewhat more slowly than lighter isotopes of the same element.

So it sounds like you would have to experiment to see what the actual difference was in living tissue. Slower reaction seems a major difference.
Permalink son of parnas 
April 3rd, 2007 9:54am

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