Low Calories a Promise to a Longer Life?


  • Calorie control helps in protecting cellular pathways.
  • Aging might help in increasing the risk of diabetes, dementia, cancer and metabolic syndromes.

A new study conducted by Salk helps us understand the benefits of a low-calorie diet and the effects it has on aging. Calorie reduction in one’s diet may help in controlling an over the time functional decline of tissues. Concepcion Rodriguez Esteban, a staff researcher at Salk, says “People say that ‘you are what you eat,’ and we’re finding that to be true in lots of ways. The state of your cells as you age clearly depends on your interactions with your environment, which includes what and how much you eat.”

Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte and his team of researchers have analyzed samples from a total of 56 rats. 168,703 calls from 40 cell types have been isolated and analyzed for this experiment. A whooping 57% changes that appeared in rats with a normal diet were absent in tissues of rats with a calorie restricted diet. The rodent’s diet was made 30% less calorie enriched from the diet of an average rodent, depending on the animal’s weight. The calorie intake for the animals was controlled between the ages of 18 months and 27 months. In every cell sample collected a method of single-cell genetic-sequencing technology was deployed to get the best possible results from the experiment.

Metabolism, inflammation and immunity are some of the areas where cells and genes related to them showed signs of improvement because of the reduced calorie input.

Guang-Hui Liu, a professor of Chinese Academy of Sciences, says “This approach not only told us the effect of calorie restriction on these cell types, but also provided the most complete and detailed study of what happens at a single-cell level during aging.”