Research roundup: Calorie restriction unlimited

The calorie restriction (CR) literature is exploding: dozens of papers are published each month, many of which are noteworthy in some way. I’ve been falling behind in my coverage. Consequently, I’m going to return to a format that I abandoned last year, the Research Roundup: eschewing commentary, I’ll include simply titles, links, and a key abstract sentence or two to distill the key finding of each paper.

In no particular order:

Adiposity alters indication: Aging, Adiposity, and Calorie Restriction, Fontana & Klein (in JAMA, in a section targeted at clinicians):

Calorie restriction in adult men and women causes beneficial metabolic, hormonal, and functional changes, but the precise amount of calorie intake or body fat mass associated with optimal health and maximum longevity in humans is not known. In addition, it is possible that even moderate calorie restriction may be harmful in specific patient populations, such as lean persons who have minimal amounts of body fat.

CR protects the aging kidney: Adult-onset Calorie Restriction Delays the Accumulation of Mitochondrial Enzyme Abnormalities in Aging Rat Kidney Tubular Epithelial Cells, McKiernan et al.:

This dietary intervention effectively reduced glomerulosclerosis and tubular atrophy within six months, changed the rate of interstitial fibrosis formation within one year and vascular wall thickening and the expression cytochrome c oxidase (COX)-deficient tubular epithelial cells in 18 months…

Fertility and reproduction: Effects of mild calorie restriction on reproduction, plasma parameters and hepatic gene expression in mice with altered GH/IGF-I axis, Rocha et al.:

Fertility was not altered by CR in any of the examined groups. … This preliminary study encourages speculation that mild regimens of CR can produce health and longevity benefits without the “costs” of impaired reproductive potential.

Delaying human aging: Human Caloric Restriction for Retardation of Aging: Current Approaches and Preliminary Data, Roberts & Schoeller:

These observations combined with the recent suggestion of active alterations in aging processes by antiaging genes do suggest the potential for significant beneficial effects of CR in humans consistent with the effects that are emerging in the nonhuman primate studies. However, some theoretical analyses alternatively suggest that there may be only a limited potential of CR to extend lifespan and reduce morbidity in humans.

Evolutionary conservation: Ruminations on dietary restriction and aging, Kennedy et al.

Here we discuss the links between nutrient reduction and enhanced longevity with emphasis on evolutionarily conserved nutrient response signaling.


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