Caloric Restriction, Part 2

Apr 7, 2006 1:57pm

A quick followup to Tuesday’s post on RESTRICTING CALORIES to slow the aging process: one of you posted the following comment:

"I happened on this while looking at ABC News site and thought I would say that my mother-in-law is the person you are talking about. She lives on a restricted diet. She will eat on a special occassion, but carefully plans how to balance out any indulgence. She was 90 years old on Feb 28 and she takes no medication. She walks as much as she can even up to a couple of miles a day."

If that’s true, I can imagine that researchers who haven’t met her would be fascinated and filled with questions.  Does she like the regimen she follows?  Does longevity run in her family, or have things gone right for her since she started cutting her intake? 

Another of you weighed in too, with the point that there’s nothing magic about three square meals a day.  There’s a neuroscientist named Mark Mattson who made some news in 2003 with a study that mice, made to eat the same amount but less frequently, appeared to age more slowly.  He surmised that intermittent fasting may be a "good stress"–the way exercise is–and that it may matter as much as, if not more than, restricting calories.  Mattson’s trying to see if it will help stave off such degenerative brain diseases as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.  But there’s plenty of work still to be done.

As I mentioned on Tuesday, the research that led to the new paper came from the CALERIE project, funded by the NIH.  There’s also a private group, the Calorie Restriction Society, with a site HERE.

A quote from Dr. John O. Holloszy, who’s been working on the CALERIE project at Washington University in St. Louis: "It’s going to be many years before we know whether calorie restriction really lengthens life, but if we can demonstrate that it changes these markers of aging, such as DNA damage and inflammation, we’ll have a pretty good idea that it’s somehow influencing the aging process at the cellular level."

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Tiktaalik followup

Paolo asked why the "missing link" fossil didn’t make it onto WNT on Wednesday: First of all, thanks for writing–the whole idea of this blog is to provide you with data, not pontification from me, so that we can have a running dialogue.   Second…well, watch tonight.

–Ned

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