The focus here is on research involving long-term calorie restriction (CR) to prevent or delay the incidence of the metabolic syndrome with age. The current societal environment is marked by overabundant accessibility of food coupled with a strong trend to reduced physical activity, both leading to the development of a constellation of disorders including central obesity, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia and hypertension (metabolic syndrome). Prolonged CR has been shown to extend median and maximal lifespan in a variety of lower species (yeast, worms, fish, rats, and mice).
Dietary restriction (DR) delays or prevents age-related diseases and extends lifespan in species ranging from yeast to primates. Although the applicability of this regimen to humans remains uncertain, a proportional response would add more healthy years to the average life than even a cure for cancer or heart disease. Because it is unlikely that many would be willing or able to maintain a DR lifestyle, there has been intense interest in mimicking its beneficial effects on health, and potentially longevity, with drugs.
Metformin, an oral anti-diabetic drug, is being considered increasingly for treatment and prevention of cancer, obesity as well as for the extension of healthy lifespan. Gradually accumulating discrepancies about its effect on cancer and obesity can be explained by the shortage of randomized clinical trials, differences between control groups (reference points), gender- and age-associated effects and pharmacogenetic factors.
As the elderly population is increasing rapidly, there is a lot of scientific interest in clarifying the differential life-style, genetic, biochemical and molecular factors contributing to mortality or exceptional longevity. Within the framework of the ZINCAGE project, 249 old (60-85 years) and nonagenarian Greek subjects (>/=85 years old) were recruited and anthropometrical, blood and biochemical indices as well as blood pressure measurements were obtained.
The aim of this study was to provide an overview of the exceptional longevity patterns in Croatia. The prevalence of nonagenarians (aged 90 years or more) and centenarians (100 years or more) was calculated from the 1953-2001 census data. The data were analyzed with chi-square test and trend analysis. The results indicate steady and significant increasing trends in both age groups, more pronounced in women.
OBJECTIVES: To assess lifestyle factors including physical activity, smoking, alcohol consumption, and dietary habits in men and women with exceptional longevity. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. SETTING: A cohort of community-dwelling Ashkenazi Jewish individuals with exceptional longevity defined as survival and living independently at age 95 and older.
Obesity is a global epidemic associated with aging-like cellular processes; in both aging and obesity, resistance to hormones such as insulin and leptin can be observed. Leptin is a circulating hormone/cytokine with central and peripheral effects that is released mainly by subcutaneous white adipose tissue. Centrally, leptin controls food intake, energy expenditure, and fat distribution, whereas it controls (among several others) insulin sensitivity, free fatty acids (FFAs) oxidation, and lipolysis in the periphery.
Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) is an NAD(+)-dependent deacetylase that connects cellular energy levels to homeostatic responses by deacetylating and modulating the activities of many transcriptional regulators. Discovered as a longevity protein in yeast, the mammalian SIRT1 has been intensively studied because of its great potential as a therapeutic target to benefit human health by preventing and improving many age-related diseases. There has been, therefore, substantial interest in developing agents that upregulate SIRT1 expression and activity.
Gut microbiota is found in virtually any metazoan, from invertebrates to vertebrates. It has long been believed that gut microbiota, more specifically, the activity of the microbiome and its metabolic products, directly influence a variety of aspects in metazoan physiology. However, the exact molecular relationship among microbe-derived gut metabolites, host signaling pathways, and host physiology remains to be elucidated. Here we review recent discoveries regarding the molecular links between gut metabolites and host physiology in different invertebrate and vertebrate animal models.