Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine set out to address a question that has been challenging scientists for years: How do dietary restrictionand the reverse, overconsumptionproduce protective effects against aging and disease?
An answer lies in a two-part study led by Charles Mobbs, PhD, Professor of Neuroscience and of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, published in the November 17 edition of the journal Public Library of Science Biology. The study, titled "Role of CBP and SATB-1 in Aging, Dietary Restriction, and Insulin-Like Signaling," examines how dietary restriction and a high-caloric diet influence biochemical responses.
Dr. Mobbs and his colleagues unraveled a molecular puzzle to determine that within certain parameters, a lower-calorie diet slows the development of some age-related conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, as well as the aging process. How the diet is restrictedwhether fats, proteins or carbohydrates are cutdoes not appear to matter. "It may not be about counting calories or cutting out specific nutrients," said Dr. Mobbs, "but how a reduction in dietary intake impacts the glucose metabolism, which contributes to oxidative stress." Meanwhile, a high calorie diet may accelerate age-related disease by promoting oxidative stress.
Dietary restriction induces a transcription factor called CREB-binding protein (CBP), which controls the activity of genes that regulate cellular function. By developing drugs that mimic the protective effects of CBP those usually caused by dietary restriction scientists may be able to extend lifespan and reduce vulnerability to age-related illnesses.
"We discovered that CBP predicts lifespan and accounts for 80 percent of lifespan variation in mammals," said Dr. Mobbs. "Finding the right balance is key; only a 10 percent restriction will produce a small increase in lifespan, whereas an 80 percent restriction will lead to a s
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