Via the transhumantech list, comments on life span experiments in mice and unintentional calorie restriction. This is a helpful reminder in light of the recent vitamin E study on aging accelerated mice. Read it here:
There is one thing that I learned during my time as a research fellow in neurodegenerative disease: almost all medication tried in mice increased their lifespan: levodopa, pergolide, eldepryl, you name it. The thing is that all this sort of medication causes some nausea and thus anorexia, and if mice eat less, they live longer. Vitamine E in high dosages can also induce nausea.
ANY calorie restriction typically extends lifespan dramatically so if the animals don't eat you get bad data unless you've identically restricted your controls.
This is why the calorie restriction community is justifiably skeptical of a great many animal studies. The effects of calorie restriction on life span in mammals are very much proven, but all too many experimenters fail to control properly for these effects.