Diet and healthy aging.

Max Planck Institute for Biology of Aging, Cologne, Germany.
New England Journal of Medicine (Impact Factor: 54.42). 12/2012; 367(26):2550-1. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMcibr1210447
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: Dietary restriction (DR) has been shown to extend both median and maximum lifespan in a range of animals, although recent findings suggest that these effects are not universally enjoyed across all animals. In particular, the lifespan effect following DR in mice is highly strain-specific and there is little current evidence that DR induces a positive effect on all-cause mortality in non-human primates. However, the positive effects of DR on health appear to be highly conserved across the vast majority of species, including human subjects. Despite these effects on health, it is highly unlikely that DR will become a realistic or popular life choice for most human subjects given the level of restraint required. Consequently significant research is focusing on identifying compounds that will bestow the benefits of DR without the obligation to adhere to stringent reductions in daily food intake. Several such compounds, including rapamycin, metformin and resveratrol, have been identified as potential DR mimetics. Although these compounds show significant promise, there is a need to properly understand the mechanisms through which these drugs act. This review will discuss the importance in understanding the role that genetic background and heterogeneity play in mediating the lifespan and healthspan effects of DR. It will also provide an overview of the most promising current DR mimetics and their effects on healthy lifespan.
    Proceedings of The Nutrition Society 01/2014; DOI:10.1017/S0029665113003832 · 3.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Many diets and nutritional advice are circulating, often based on short- or medium-term clinical trials and primary outcomes, like changes in LDL cholesterol or weight. It remains difficult to assess which dietary interventions can be effective in the long term to reduce the risk of aging-related disease and increase the (healthy) lifespan. At the same time, the scientific discipline that studies the aging process has identified some important nutrient-sensing pathways that modulate the aging process, such as the mTOR and the insulin/insulin-like growth factor signaling pathway. A thorough understanding of the aging process can help assessing the efficacy of dietary interventions aimed at reducing the risk of aging-related diseases. To come to these insights, a synthesis of biogerontological, nutritional, and medical knowledge is needed, which can be framed in a new discipline called 'nutrigerontology'. © 2014 The Authors. Aging Cell published by the Anatomical Society and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
    Aging cell 12/2014; DOI:10.1111/acel.12284 · 7.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We are currently in the midst of a revolution in ageing research, with several dietary, genetic and pharmacological interventions now known to modulate ageing in model organisms. Excitingly, these interventions also appear to have significant beneficial effects on late-life health. For example, dietary restriction (DR) has been shown to slow the incidence of age-associated cardiovascular disease, metabolic disease, cancer and brain ageing in non-human primates and has been shown to improve a range of health indices in humans. While the idea that DR’s ability to extend lifespan is often thought of as being conserved, studies in a range of organisms, including yeast, mice and monkeys, suggest that this may not actually be the case. The precise reasons underlying these differential effects of DR on lifespan are currently unclear, but genetic background may be an important factor in how an individual responds to DR. Similarly, recent findings suggest that differences exist in the responsiveness of mice to specific genetic or pharmacological interventions that modulate ageing, which also appear to be influenced by genetic background. Consequently, while there is a clear drive to develop interventions to improve late-life health and vitality, understanding precisely how these act in response to particular genotypes is obviously critical if we are to translate these findings to humans. We will consider of the role of genetic background in the efficacy of various lifespan interventions and discuss potential routes of utilising genetic heterogeneity to further understand how these interventions modulate lifespan and healthspan.
    Journal of Genetics and Genomics 09/2014; 41(9). DOI:10.1016/j.jgg.2014.06.002 · 2.92 Impact Factor