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Pondering Calorie Restriction in Humans

Researchers continue to offer their thoughts and predictions on how greatly they expect the practice of calorie restriction to extend life in humans. The consensus seems to be "not as much as in mice," but a range of arguments are used to arrive at that position. Here is one of them: "Although it has been known since 1917 that calorie restriction (CR) decelerates aging, the topic remains highly controversial. What might be the reason? Here I discuss that the anti-aging effect of CR rules out accumulation of DNA damage and failure of maintenance as a cause of aging. Instead, it suggests that aging is driven in part by the nutrient-sensing TOR (target of rapamycin) network. CR deactivates the TOR pathway, thus slowing aging and delaying diseases of aging. Humans are not an exception and CR must increase both maximal and healthy lifespan in humans to the same degree as it does in other mammals. Unlike mice, however, humans benefit from medical care, which prolongs lifespan despite accelerated aging in non-restricted individuals. Therefore in humans the effect of CR may be somewhat blunted. Still how much does CR extend human lifespan? And could this extension be surpassed by gerosuppressants such as rapamycin?"

Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20139716

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