Eating less = getting old later

Message: Eating less can make the aging process healthier and even delay it

Markers of aging, e.g., so called 5-methylcytidine and DNA methyltransferase, can be substantially decreased in mice hippocampus by a simple mild limitation of access to food. Hippocampus is a structure, which actively participate with the processes of learning, memory, and cognition. Authors of the paper recently published in “Current Alzheimer Research” concluded: “These findings indicate that the aging process in mice is connected with profound changes in the epigenetic machinery in the hippocampus. Whether the observed epigenetic patterns associated with calorie restriction mediate the beneficial effects on the life-span remains to be elucidated.”

Source: Age-related increase in levels of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine in mouse hippocampus is prevented by caloric restriction. Curr Alzheimer Res. 2012 Jan 23.

Time-restricted diet versus calorie restriction

We know that we are what we eat. Turns out that the timing matters more than the diet itself

Our body’s metabolism is designed to be cyclical. This is true for the eating-fasting periods overlapping with cellular and molecular rhythms. However, as the Western Diet prevails, the “fasting” part disappears causing the natural rhythms disappear, too. Turns out, that obesity, for which dietary fat is traditionally blamed, can be avoided if only one small correction is made – a return to the cyclic recurrence of our eating habits. Researchers at La Jolla, CA, showed that even as liberal restriction of feeding as a 8-hour a day access to food (instead of permanent feeding, which is called ad libitum) protected experimental animals against obesity, hyperinsulinemia, hepatic steatosis, and inflammation and improved their energy expenditure through movement. Importantly, they ate as many calories as the ad libitum controls did and the same high-fat diet.

“We demonstrate in mice that time-restricted feeding regimen is a nonpharmacological strategy against obesity and associated diseases.” – Hatori et. al.

Source: Time-Restricted Feeding without Reducing Caloric Intake Prevents Metabolic Diseases in Mice Fed a High-Fat Diet. Hatori et. al., Cell Metabolism 15, 1–13, June 6, 2012