Navigation Links
Lighter Meals May Bring Longer Life
Date:7/9/2009

Monkey study is best evidence yet that fewer daily calories boost lifespan

THURSDAY, July 9 (HealthDay News) -- A new study that found that a lower-calorie diet slowed the aging process in monkeys could be the best proof yet that restricted diets might do the same for humans.

"The big question in aging research is, 'Will caloric restriction in species closely related to humans slow aging?'" said Richard Weindruch, senior author of a paper appearing in the July 10 issue of Science. "This is the first clear demonstration that, in a primate species, we're inducing a slowdown of the aging process -- showing increased survival, resistance to disease, less brain atrophy and less muscle loss.

"This predicts humans would respond similarly," added Weindruch, professor of medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an investigator at the Veterans Hospital in Madison.

Another expert noted that, despite some highly publicized studies in certain species, the link between restricted eating and longer lifespan has been far from proven.

"The idea that dietary restriction extends lifespan in all species is not true. Many strains of rats and mice do not respond. In some strains, it's actually deleterious," explained Felipe Sierra, director of the biology of aging program at the U.S. National Institute on Aging (NIA), which supported the new study. "The fact that it didn't work in some mice but it does seem to work in monkeys is surprising and it gives us hope."

But there's a larger question: how to change humans' increasingly lax eating habits. "This [finding] doesn't give me hope that humans are going to go into dietary restriction," Sierra said.

Another expert agreed. "I think this is wonderful and it has promising benefits but the problem is not that we don't know this stuff, the problem is doing it, is getting people to eat less," added Marianne Grant, a registered dietitian at Texas A&M Health Science Center Coastal Bend Health Education Center in Corpus Christi.

As Sierra sees it, the ultimate value of this and other research like it will be to unveil the physiological mechanisms behind a slowdown in the aging process, and then come up with ways to mimic those processes with drugs or other interventions.

Previous research had shown that calorie restriction can increase survival and stave off many diseases in yeast, worms, flies and, as Sierra pointed out, in some strains of mice.

The new, two-decade-long study ultimately involved 76 rhesus monkeys, all of whom started the study as adults (aged 7 to 14 years). Thirty-three monkeys are still alive, 13 of whom are allowed to eat as they like. The other 20 are allowed a diet with 30 percent fewer calories.

Eighty percent of the original monkeys eating fewer calories are still alive, versus half of those in the control group, the researchers reported.

Among the benefits enjoyed by the lower-calorie group: fewer cancers, less cardiovascular disease, better preserved brain health (especially in regions of the brain involved in motor control and memory) and no diabetes whatsoever, despite this being a common problem in monkeys.

Weindruch said his group is continuing to study the monkeys, a process that could go on for 15 years. Meanwhile, they are collecting a new group of monkeys to more closely study mechanistic processes.

The NIA currently supports a study looking into calorie restriction in humans although, Sierra pointed out, such a study is difficult to conduct.

"Studies in humans can be done but they're not going to address longevity and it's a self-selected group," he said. "Monkeys are the closest we can get."

The findings come a day after U.S. researchers reported in Nature that rapamycin, a drug typically given to transplant patients, significantly extended the lifespans of mice.

More information

For more on various aspects of growing older, head to the U.S. National Institute on Aging.



SOURCES: Richard Weindruch, Ph.D., professor, medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison and investigator, Veterans Hospital, Madison, Wis.; Felipe Sierra, Ph.D., director, biology of aging program, U.S. National Institute on Aging; Marianne Grant, registered dietitian, Texas A&M Health Science Center Coastal Bend Health Education Center, Corpus Christi, Texas; July 10, 2009 Science


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Former Smoker Celebrates One Year Anniversary of Being a Non-Smoker 60 Pounds Lighter
2. New research reveals ultraviolet light therapy is as beneficial for darker skin as lighter skin
3. Parental Control of Eating Leads to Lighter Toddlers
4. AUDIO from Medialink and GlaxoSmithKline: Shifting Your Focus for a Lighter, Healthier New Year
5. Minnesota Vikings, Hunger Solutions Minnesota and Second Harvest Heartland to Help Secure 200,000 Meals for Hungry Minnesota Children This Summer
6. Nu Skin Child Hunger Relief Effort Surpasses 150 Million Meals
7. USDA Adds Walnuts to Government Sponsored Meals
8. Missing: 125 Million Meals for Low-Income Minnesotans
9. Nutritious fast-food kids meals are scarce, researchers find
10. Fast food meals are smaller, have fewer calories than food served at restaurants
11. Holiday Meals With a Calorie-Conscious Twist
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Lighter Meals May Bring Longer Life
(Date:6/28/2017)... ... June 28, 2017 , ... ... financial consultations to communities in northern Virginia and DC, is announcing a cooperative ... for patients with Alzheimer’s and other disorders that lead to memory impairment. , ...
(Date:6/27/2017)... ... June 27, 2017 , ... Nearly 70 percent of ... released today by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS). , ... of consumers considering a cosmetic medical procedure has doubled since 2013. , “Cosmetic ...
(Date:6/27/2017)... ... June 27, 2017 , ... ... for many of the health care industry’s hospitals and provider groups, has announced ... portal for select customers. Parasail Health is a San Francisco health-finance startup that ...
(Date:6/27/2017)... ... ... From June 20-22, EarQ and Widex held an exclusive training event ... is headquartered. , Together, the organizations educate hearing care professionals on how to ... latest in hearing technology. At the event, EarQ members got an in-depth look ...
(Date:6/27/2017)... ... June 27, 2017 , ... The Kelahan Agency, ... services to residents of southern New Hampshire, is teaming up with the New ... hunger and homelessness in the region. , New Horizons for New Hampshire provides ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/19/2017)... June 19, 2017  Researchers from DRUGSCAN ® ... will host a live, complimentary webinar titled, "Untangling methods ... to the real world" on Wednesday June 28, 2017 ... This webinar will feature interviews with recreational and ... the manipulation techniques abusers use to prepare opioid tablets ...
(Date:6/14/2017)... -- In 2016, Embodied Labs took top prize ... came away with $25,000 in seed-fund investment. Embodied Labs ... "entering the life of another" and by the Journal ... medical professionals in an entirely new dimension." Building upon ... for the Department of Education,s EdSimChallenge, where they received ...
(Date:6/9/2017)... , June 9, 2017 AirXpanders, Inc. ... focused on the design, manufacture, sale and distribution of ... on the progress of its commercial roll-out in ... available in more than one hundred (100) medical institutions ... AeroForm offers a needle-free alternative for women who ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: