Reducing calories and eating at the right time of day prolongs the life of mice

Summary: Calorie restriction and eating only during the most active part of the day helped prolong the life of mice.

A source: HHMI

If the recipe for longevity is simple and not easy to follow: Eat less. Studies in various animals have shown that calorie restriction leads to a longer and healthier life.

Now, new research shows that the body’s daily rhythms play a major role in this longevity effect. On May 5, 2022, Joseph Takahashi, a researcher at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and his colleagues wrote in a journal that eating a low-calorie diet during the most active time of the day significantly extended life. science.

In a four-year study of hundreds of mice by his team, only a low-calorie diet increased animal life by 10 percent. In mice, on the other hand, the diet is extended by 35 percent only at night, when mice are most active. This combo – a low-calorie diet and night-time schedule – lasted nine months in addition to the two-year average life expectancy of the animals. For people, a similar plan restricts meals until noon.

The study will help resolve the controversy surrounding diet plans that are only eaten at certain times of the day, says Takahashi, a molecular biologist at the University of Texas Southwest Medical Center.

Such plans may not accelerate people’s weight loss New England Journal of Medicine reported, but they can prolong your life as they can bring health benefits.

The findings of Takahashi’s team underscore the crucial role of metabolism in aging, said Jean Mayer, a nutrition scientist at the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center, who was not involved. “This is a very promising and important study,” he says.

source of youth

Decades of research have shown that calorie restriction prolongs the life of animals from worms and flies to mice, rats and primates. These experiments report improved weight loss, improved glucose regulation, decreased blood pressure, and decreased inflammation.

But life has been difficult, says a study of calorie restriction in people who have not been able to eat portions of food in a lifetime. He was part of a research team that conducted the first controlled study on calorie restriction in humans, called the Comprehensive Assessment of the Long-Term Effects of Reducing Energy Consumption, or CALERIE. In this study, even a slight reduction in calories was “extremely helpful” in reducing the signs of aging, Das says.

Researchers are beginning to realize that calorie restriction slows down aging at the cellular and genetic levels. As the animal ages, the genes involved in inflammation become more active, and the genes that regulate metabolism become less active. A new study by Takahashi found that calorie restriction helped compensate for these genetic changes in older mice, especially when adapted to the nocturnal period of active mice.

The question of time

In recent years, there has been an increase in many popular diet plans that focus on what is known as regular fasting, such as fasting on other days or eating only six to eight hours a day. Takahashi’s team conducted a four-year extensive experiment to determine the effects of calories, fasting, and daily or circadian rhythms on longevity. The team housed hundreds of mice with automated feeders and monitored when and how much each mouse lived for a lifetime.

Some mice were able to eat as much as they wanted, while others limited their calories by 30 to 40 percent. And those on a calorie-restricted diet are up to a different schedule. Mice that ate a low-calorie diet at night lived the longest, two hours or 12 hours.

The results show that time-consuming diets, while not conducive to weight loss, have a positive effect on the body. New England Journal of Medicine The study was proposed. Takahashi also notes that his study found no differences in body weight in mice on different dietary schedules – “But we found profound differences throughout our lives,” he says.

Experiments that tested different diets on mice found that animals lived the longest on a low-calorie diet. Credit: Fernando Augusto

Rafael de Cabo, a gerontologist at the National Institute of Aging in Baltimore, says: science paper “it’s a pretty cool show, even if you’re limiting your calories, but you’re not [eating at the right times]you can’t take full advantage of calorie restriction.

Takahashi hopes that studying how calorie restriction affects the body’s internal clock in old age will help scientists find new ways to prolong a healthy life. This can be through low-calorie diets or medications that mimic the effects of those diets.

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Takahashi, meanwhile, is learning from mice – he limits his meals to 12 hours. But, he says, “if we find a drug that can lift your watch, we can test it in the lab and find out it can prolong its life.”

Longevity research news about this

Author: Press service
A source: HHMI
The connection: Press Service – HHMI
Photo: Photo by Fernando Augusto

Original study: Closed access.
Victoria Acosta-Rodriguez science


Circadian adjustment of early calorie restriction promotes longer life of male C57BL / 6J mice.

Calorie restriction (CR) prolongs life, but its mechanisms are not well understood. In the CR, mice self-imposed chronic cycles of 2 hours of eating and 22 hours of fasting on their own, raising the question of whether calories, fasting, or time of day were the cause. We show that 30% CR is sufficient to prolong life by 10%; however, daily fasting intervals and circadian alignment of feeding work together to extend the life of male C57BL / 6J mice by 35%.

These effects do not depend on body weight. Aging induces the widespread expression of genes associated with inflammation and reduces the expression of genes that encode components of the metabolic pathways in the liver. ad lib fed mice. Night CR improves these aging-related changes.

Thus, circadian interventions promote longevity and provide a future for further study of the mechanisms of aging.

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