Methionine Restriction Beneficial in Old Rats
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Calorie restriction extends healthy life span, and that seems to largely work through the level of methionine in the diet, though minimizing visceral fat tissue looks to be an important effect as well: "It is known that a global decrease in food ingestion (dietary restriction, DR) lowers mitochondrial ROS generation (mitROS) and oxidative stress in young immature rats. This seems to be caused by the decreased methionine ingestion of DR animals. This is interesting since isocaloric methionine restriction in the diet (MetR) also increases, like DR, rodent maximum longevity. However, it is not known if old rats maintain the capacity to lower mitROS generation and oxidative stress in response to MetR similarly to young immature animals, and whether MetR implemented at old age can reverse aging-related variations in oxidative stress. In this investigation the effects of aging and 7 weeks of MetR were investigated in liver mitochondria of Wistar rats. MetR implemented at old age decreased mitROS generation, percent free radical leak at the respiratory chain and mtDNA oxidative damage without changing oxygen consumption. Protein oxidation, lipoxidation and glycoxidation increased with age, and MetR in old rats partially or totally reversed these age-related increases. ... In conclusion, treating old rats with isocaloric short-term MetR lowers mitROS production and free radical leak and oxidative damage to mtDNA, and reverses aging-related increases in protein modification. Aged rats maintain the capacity to lower mitochondrial ROS generation and oxidative stress in response to a short-term exposure to restriction of a single dietary substance: methionine."

Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22580750

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