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Mech Ageing Dev. 2005 Nov;126(11):1185-91.

Mitochondrial production of reactive oxygen species and incidence of age-associated lymphoma in OF1 mice: effect of alternate-day fasting.

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Laboratoire de Nutrition, Vieillissement, Maladies Cardio-vasculaires, Faculté de Pharmacie, Université de Grenoble, Domaine de la Merci, 38706 la Tronche, France.


There is currently of a great interest investigating the role of nutrition in the prevention of age-associated disorders. The present study aimed to evaluate, on a particular strain of mice, the efficacy of alternate-day fasting on the mitochondrial production of free radical species and on the incidence of a specific cancer (lymphoma) in aged mice. Alternate fasting, that was initiated in middle age mice through a 4 month period, reduced significantly the incidence of lymphoma (0% versus 33% for controls). No remarkable difference was observed in the overall food consumption between alternate-fed (AF) and ad libitum (AL) mice, suggesting that the efficacy of alternate fasting did not really depend on calorie restriction. A significant decrease in the mitochondrial generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that was associated with a significant increase in spleen mitochondria SOD activity was observed when mice were maintained on intermittent fasting. Our results suggest that alternate fasting could exert a beneficial antioxidant effect and a modulation of the oxidative stress associated with aging.

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