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Exp Aging Res. 1983 Fall;9(3):203-9.

Effects of intermittent feeding upon growth, activity, and lifespan in rats allowed voluntary exercise.


From weaning until death, male Wistar rats were housed in activity-wheel cages with one group maintained on an ad libitum (AL) diet and another provided the diet every-other-day (EOD). EOD-fed rats had a mean lifespan of 124 weeks compared to 103 weeks for AL-fed rats. While post-weaning body weight and growth rates were reduced among the EOD-fed animals compared to AL-fed animals, there was no significant difference in growth duration. Positive correlations were observed between lifespan and estimates of growth rate and duration in the AL group but not in the EOD group; thus, little evidence was produced to support the hypothesis that growth rate is inversely related to longevity. While the EOD feeding regimen resulted in higher activity levels later in life, wheel activity levels were actually lower in this group in early life compared to the AL group. The observation of reduced wheel activity among young rats fed EOD was replicated in a second experiment. Thus, little support was obtained for the hypothesis that increased activity mediates the beneficial effects of dietary restriction on longevity, unless this mechanism is active late in the lifespan.

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