Calorie Restriction Increases Mitochondrial Biogenesis

Mitochondria are the cell's roving herd of bacteria-like power plants, and the damage they suffer in the course of their operation is strongly implicated as a contributing cause of aging. Here researchers show that calorie restriction appears to boost the rate at which new mitochondria are spawned: "mice with increased respiratory rates and reduced energetic conversion efficiency due to spontaneously uncoupled mitochondria lived longer than their counterparts. Indeed, different uncoupling strategies were able to extend lifespan in models ranging from yeast to mammals. ... uncoupling could be an approach to promote lifespan extension due to its ability to prevent the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Indeed, mild mitochondrial uncoupling is a highly effective intervention to prevent the formation of ROS ... CR also increases the number of functional respiratory units (mitochondrial biogenesis) [and researchers] demonstrated that mitochondrial biogenesis was essential for many beneficial effects of dietary limitation in mice. ... We recently demonstrated that murine lifespan can be extended by low doses of the mitochondrial uncoupler 2,4-dinitrophenol (DNP) in a manner accompanied by weight loss, lower serological levels of glucose, insulin and triglycerides as well as a strong decrease in biomarkers of oxidative damage and tissue ROS release. Similar effects have been repeatedly reported using CR diets ... Based on the similarities between these two interventions, we hypothesized that DNP treatment could also lead to enhanced mitochondrial biogenesis. In this manuscript, we measured the effects of DNP treatment and CR on mitochondrial biogenesis and associated pathways. We observed that both DNP and CR increase mitochondrial biogenesis, [confirming] that signaling events in both treatments converge."



what about ADF Fasting but without a reduction in macro nutrients and weekly calories?

Posted by: quetsin at April 29th, 2011 1:18 PM

@quetsin: Not a clue - but alternate day fasting is far less well studied than calorie restriction, many alternate day studies are in fact forms of calorie restriction (i.e. isocaloric studies are only a fraction of those done) and what there is suggests that the underlying mechanisms for improved health may (a) overlap with calorie restriction and (b) nonetheless be different in meaningful ways.

Posted by: Reason at April 29th, 2011 1:39 PM

Interesting. Kinda ironic that the *less* efficient metabolism that uncoupling creates would lead to longer lifespans, especially since metabolic rate has been shown to have an inversely proportional relationship with lifespan in mice and humans. I wonder how much of the benefits are just due to the lower body weight uncoupling produces and how much are due to other factors. It may be that having a low body weight is so good for the mice that it outweighs the bad of having a faster inefficient metabolism.

Posted by: Kim at April 30th, 2011 5:06 PM

Perhaps mitochondria biogenesis is stimulated by increased fatty acids. It has been seen that ketogenic diets (KD) can increase mitochondrial biogenesis in epileptic patients ( Both a KD and CR increase the amount of fatty acids available in the body, and fatty acid metabolism requires mitochondria.

Don't think this is good news to any of the vegans... unless you are really into avocados, almonds, and coconut oil

Posted by: Jordan Jones at July 31st, 2011 1:35 PM

There have been (and still are) some noteworthy advocates of largely organically-grown raw vegetarian diets and drinking lots of fresh (mostly) vegetable juices who have achieved old age. Jack Lalanne recently died at 96. Norman Walker, the original "juiceman," died in 1984 at probably 99 years, though some people claim he was older. The current "juiceman" Jay Kordich is around 88 years and so is Charolette Gerson, the daughter of Dr. Max Gerson. I mention these because, frankly, since I became interested in nutrition in the mid-1970s, I've notice that very few of the advocates of this or that diet or supplement seem to survive into active and healthy old age. I don't believe that any of these people were or are big advocates of calorie restriction or regular fasting, though it isn't generally easy to consume a large number of calories on such diets. Interesting that you mentioned coconut oil, almonds, and advocados as these are definitely included in such diets as sources of good fats. You might want to check out, as much as is possible, the affects of raw vegetarian diets with lots of fresh juices on longevity. Another concept you might look into...a few months ago I became aware of a book "Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery ever?" It claims that the surface of the earth supplies vast numbers of electrons to every animal that walks on its surface barefoot, without shoes made of synthetic insulating materials. These electrons act in our bodies as anti-oxidants. They reduce or eliminate inflammation. They also provide a charge on the surface of blood cells so that they don't stick together. I know it sounds nuts, but check it out, it seems to work. There are numerous videos on Youtube. Search "earthing." Dr. Mercola has several videos on the subject there.

Posted by: Steve at August 30th, 2011 12:20 PM

There's no doubt that fasting and meditation/prayer is the most powerful healing modality in the history of the world, across all of the major religions and healing systems of the world, for the greatest number of diseases in the world. God also saves you money from not eating! The only problems with it are that too many people don't know about it, they don't believe it when they hear about it, they don't have the willpower/discipline to do it, even when they know about it, and most of their friends and family members sabotage their efforts by trying to "save their lives" by trying to prevent them from "starving". This last fact is probably the greatest impediment to widespread adoption/implementation worldwide; there's also a problem with willpower, and faith, in this modern day world. When Moses declared a "fast", the Israelites all followed the order. There are plenty of scientific medical articles about it in the scientific literature, such as Pubmed of the U.S. National Library of Medicine, but they are cloaked in a type of scientific pseudo-verbiage that makes the articles not readily accessible/recognizable since Big Pharma doesn't want to lose money to something simple, effective, and frequently life saving. Even though Pubmed is very good, in some ways, it seems pretty obvious that a certain element is protecting Big Pharma by making this literature a little less than user friendly, so that most people don't get the benefits readily/easily. Is it no surprise that our Pharmaceutical Companies are IG Farben derivatives??

Posted by: Robert B. Thorne, M.D. at March 22nd, 2016 10:58 AM
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