Linking Calorie Restriction and Neuroprotection

This paper examines a mechanism to link the practice of calorie restriction to greater resistance to age-related neurodegeneration via slowing the rate of cellular damage caused by your own mitochondria: "Dietary protocols that increase serum levels of ketones, such as
calorie restriction and the ketogenic diet, offer robust protection
against a multitude of acute and chronic neurological diseases. The
underlying mechanisms, however, remain unclear. Previous studies have
suggested that the ketogenic diet may reduce free radical levels in
the brain. Thus, one possibility is that ketones may mediate
neuroprotection through antioxidant activity. ... Ketones also significantly decreased mitochondrial production of
reactive oxygen species." This is a similar mechanism to that associated with melatonin - reduce the ongoing rate of damage through oxidative stress due to free radicals, such as reactive oxygen species. Like melatonin, however, calorie restriction is a crude tool indeed for impacting health and life span - we move the whole interconnected, poorly-understood system towards a change for the better, so far as we can tell. But the prospect of doing far better for our future longevity is right in front of our noses - all we have to do is to support and fund the research.

Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17240074

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