Dietary restriction is an anti-aging therapy that dates back further than antioxidant administration, and, importantly, it is also more interesting due to its effectiveness. The first studies about dietary restriction were made in the 1930s by McCay and co-workers , and since then, their work has been replicated . In rodents, the most studied model, a 40% reduction in dietary intake can increase the MLSP by 50% . Of significance, dietary restriction not only increases the mean and maximum life spans but it also delays the onset of most diseases associated with aging, such as cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular diseases, autoimmune diseases and diabetes . This shows that delaying aging is also useful in delaying the development of aging-associated diseases.
The efficacy of dietary restriction on life span depends on three factors: the moment at which it is initiated, the duration of restriction and the number of calories restricted. In general, we can state that the sooner (after the maturation phase of aging) dietary restrictions are implemented, and the more extensive these restrictions are, the longer the life extension becomes. Obviously, too many calories cut (over 50%) may be counterproductive and result in a decrease of longevity . Although some papers reported adverse effects on life span in older individuals , most studies found a positive effect of dietary restriction, even when it was started in senescence [236, 238, 239]. For instance, dietary restriction initiated at the age of 19 months increases both the mean and maximum life spans in mice. Thus the genomic changes are the same in both young and old individuals . Finally, dietary restriction at old age decreases mtROS production and oxidative damage to mtDNA  and proteins [241, 242], and delays the accumulation of deletions in mtDNA .
Was this article helpful?
Diabetes is a disease that affects the way your body uses food. Normally, your body converts sugars, starches and other foods into a form of sugar called glucose. Your body uses glucose for fuel. The cells receive the glucose through the bloodstream. They then use insulin a hormone made by the pancreas to absorb the glucose, convert it into energy, and either use it or store it for later use. Learn more...