Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Calorie-restriction late in life

This study on calorie restriction just came out (full text here).

It caught my attention because it demonstrates health benefits of short-term calorie restriction late in life, indicating that it may never be too late to reverse lifelong damage done.

The researchers found that older mice fed a calorie-restricted diet (30% of normal) for 8-weeks had an increase in nitric oxide production, and improvement in vascular endothelial function. Nitric oxide plays a key role in vessel dilation (which is impaired in older people, leading to cardiovascular disease). The calorie-restricted mice also had reduced oxidative stress through decreased superoxide production and increased anti-oxidant enzyme activity.

The study did not find changes in inflammation levels, unlike the findings in long-term calorie restriction studies such as this one.

Some of my questions: This study was done in mice -- does it apply to humans? 8-weeks in a mouse life is equivalent to how long in a human life? What would similar “calorie-restriction” look like for humans? Does it matter what type of food is consumed, or just the calorie-restriction?

1 comment:

  1. whyy.org radio times Feb 8th hour 2
    goes over this area quite well, an interesting listen...