Studies in mammals have led to the suggestion that hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia are important factors both in aging and in the development of cancer. Insulin/insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) signaling molecules linked to longevity include DAF-2 and insulin receptor (InR) and their homologues in mammals and to inactivation of the corresponding genes followed by increased life span in nematodes, fruit flies, and mice. It is possible that the life-prolonging effect of caloric restriction are due to decreasing IGF-1 levels.
Calorie restriction (CR) mimetics are agents or strategies that can mimic the beneficial health-promoting and anti-aging effects of CR, the only intervention conclusively shown to slow aging and maintain health and vitality across the phylogenetic spectrum. Our lead compound, developed at the National Institute on Aging, was 2-deoxyglucose, an analogue of the native sugar, that acted as a glycolytic inhibitor, having limited metabolism and actually reducing overall energy flow--analogous to CR.
In spite of the potential benefit of lifelong food restriction to retard aging and extend life span, it is unrealistic in human. The restriction late in life may be more practical. There are, however, only limited studies on the effect of late onset caloric or dietary restriction. We and other investigators have shown that the late life restriction rejuvenates some parameters that decline with age in rats and mice.
The Journals of Gerontology. Series A, Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1 signaling might partly mediate effects of caloric restriction (CR), an experimental intervention for increasing longevity in mammals. The present study evaluated effects of recombinant human (rh)IGF-1 infusion on adipokine levels in CR and transgenic (Tg) dwarf rats with the reduced growth hormone-IGF-1 axis, which shared similar body weight and food intake. At 9 months of age, each rat received a continuous infusion of rhIGF-1 for 14 days, and rats received an injection of glucose after overnight fasting.
This Hot Topics review, the first in a projected annual series, discusses those articles, published in the last year, which seem likely to have a major impact on our understanding of the aging process in mammals and the links between aging and late-life illnesses. The year's highlights include studies of oxidation damage in the very-long-lived naked mole-rat, and of caloric restriction in monkeys, humans, and growth hormone-unresponsive mice.
Components of the diet related to changes in eating habits that characterize the modern Western world are important factors in the increasingly high prevalence of chronic disease, including obesity, diabetes, hypertension and as a consequence, chronic kidney disease. The healthy diets recommended for the general population to promote longevity (such as the Mediterranean diet), are defined based on epidemiological and intervention studies and are usually characterized by a relatively higher amount of protein than the usual Western diet.
Dietary restriction (DR) or caloric restriction (CR) is the well-established means to retard aging, leading to prolongation of mean and maximum life span in many animal models. We have been interested in the possibility of extending the span of health of elderly people rather than increasing longevity, and therefore studied the effects of DR/CR initiated late in life in rodent models. We restricted food for 2-3.5 months in mice or rats of middle or old ages, which would perhaps be equivalent to 50-70 years of age in humans.
Studies on mice and rats have demonstrated that calorie restriction (CR) slows primary aging, has a protective effect against secondary aging, and markedly decreases the incidence of malignancies. However, the only way to determine whether CR "works" in humans is to conduct studies on people. Such studies are difficult to perform in free-living people. While research on CR in humans is still at an early stage, a modest amount of information has accumulated.