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J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2006 Jan;61(1):14-9.

Caloric restriction and aging: controversial issues.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, University of Texas Health Science at San Antonio, TX, USA. masoro@aol.com


It has long been held that food restriction extends the life span of rodents and other species by decreasing caloric intake and slowing the rate of aging. Recent findings challenge these concepts. This review assesses these controversial issues. The conclusion is that caloric restriction underlies the life extension of rats, but not of Drosophila. Mortality characteristics show that food restriction slows the rate of aging of rats and, in some studies, of mice. However, in other mouse studies and in Drosophila, mortality characteristics have been interpreted as indicating that it delays the start but does not slow the rate of aging; the author believes that this interpretation is faulty. These differences in mortality responses to food restriction provide a potentially powerful tool for uncovering basic mechanisms underlying its life-prolonging action. A hypothesis is presented for use in the search for these mechanisms.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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