The insulin/insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) pathway drives an evolutionarily conserved network that regulates lifespan and longevity. Individuals with Laron syndrome who carry mutations in the growth hormone receptor (GHR) gene that lead to severe congenital IGF-1 deficiency with decreased insulin/IGF-1 signaling (IIS) exhibit reduced prevalence rates of acne, diabetes and cancer. Western diet with high intake of hyperglycemic carbohydrates and insulinotropic dairy over-stimulates IIS. The reduction of IIS in Laron subjects unmasks the potential role of persistent hyperactive IIS mediated by Western diet in the development of diseases of civilization and offers a rational perspective for dietary adjustments with less insulinotropic diets like the Paleolithic diet.
Department of Dermatology, Environmental Medicine and Health Theory, University of Osnabrück, Sedanstrasse 115, D-49090 Osnabrück, Germany. Melnik@t-online.de.