The influence of caloric restriction on hepatic glyceraldehyde- and glycerol-metabolizing enzyme activities of young and old mice were studied. Glycerol kinase and cytoplasmic glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase activities were increased in both young and old CR (calorie-restricted) mice when compared with controls, whereas triokinase increased only in old CR mice. Aldehyde dehydrogenase and aldehyde reductase activities in both young and old CR mice were unchanged by caloric restriction. Mitochondrial glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase showed a trend towards an increased activity in old CR mice, whereas a trend towards a decreased activity in alcohol dehydrogenase was observed in both young and old CR mice. Serum glycerol levels decreased in young and old CR mice. Therefore increases in glycerol kinase and glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase were associated with a decrease in fasting blood glycerol levels in CR animals. A prominent role for triokinase in glyceraldehyde metabolism with CR was also observed. The results indicate that long-term caloric restriction induces sustained increases in the capacity for gluconeogenesis from glycerol.