2006-02-01: A new forum for this site
has been created. From now on, all "What's New" information
will be posted on it.
2006-01-13: Calorie Restricters Seem Young at Heart: A study of 25
members of the Calorie Restriction Society found that adherents to diets
extremely low in calories, but well balanced, had significantly lower
levels of inflammatory markers and more flexible ventricles, which translated
into better diastolic function, reported Luigi Fontana, M.D., Ph.D.,
of Washington University here, and colleagues. Read
in the January 2005 issue of Popular Science features controversial
theorist Aubrey de Grey who insists that we are within reach of an engineered
cure for aging. Are you prepared to live forever?
"de Grey’s Seven Deadly Sins of Aging, his formulation of
the cellular and molecular culprits that he believes account for human
decline. They are: the atrophying of tissues as a result of cell loss;
the havoc caused by old cells that linger rather than self-destruct;
waste buildup inside lysosomes, the garbage compactors of our cells;
the waste products that build up between cells; the improper bonding
of sugar and protein molecules that reduces the elasticity of our tissues;
genetic mutations in the mitochondria; and genetic mutations in the
cell nucleus that lead to cancer. Biologists are not convinced that
these processes all contribute to aging, but de Grey is, and he has
proposed solutions to each. How practical or realistic those solutions
are is another matter. 'Aubrey will say something that’s the biological
equivalent of 'Let’s build a 1,000-story building on the head
of a pin, and then we can—,' and I’m like, 'Wait, wait,
let’s go back to that first part again,'' says Judith Campisi,
a top cell biologist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. (On the
other hand, though Campisi has yet to feel compelled to do an experiment
because of a conversation with de Grey, she doesn’t rule it out.
'I wouldn’t waste my time talking to him if I thought it would
never happen,' she says.)"
2004-11-24: San Diego Union-Tribune's
very-accurate article Live and let diet: Eating less may mean a longer life if you can
stand the hunger pangs notes:
"Of all the potions and pills, schemes and dreams that claim to
possess the secret of living longer, only one method outside actual
genetic manipulation has been scientifically proven to extend life:
It's eating less, a lot less. Everything else – from herbal supplements
to hormones – is wishful thinking at best, life threatening at
"In every animal model tested, a diet severely reduced in calories
extended the organisms' life span, sometimes almost doubling it. Percentages
represent the increase in average life span when calories were restricted."
2004-11-24: San Diego Union-Tribune articleSo, you want to live to be 125? Life expectancies can be stretched,
scientists say. Some of the article's highlights:
"But a number of scientists and doctors think it's too early to
start talking about a 'finished' line. They assert, in principle, that
there is no maximum human life span.
Aubrey de Grey, a biogerontologist at the University of Cambridge
in England, says that under the right circumstances, humans born in
the 22nd century (just 96 years away) could live up to 5,000 years.
De Grey, who advocates using technology to develop a 'true cure for
aging,' is indisputably at the optimistic extreme. But plenty of others
see longer lives ahead.
'I think people will someday live substantially longer than today,'
said Steven Austad, a biologist at the University of Texas Health
Sciences Center in San Antonio. '(Living) into your 100s will be fairly
routine, up to 150 for the outlier (a longer-lived person who is the
exception to the rule). I think this because we have been so successful
at figuring out how to make animals live longer.
'The arguments (against appreciably longer life spans),' he added,
'are based so far as I can tell on ignoring a huge pile of research
done over the past 15 years and the mystical belief that longevity,
unlike every other human trait we know of, is impossible to change.'"
2004-10-13: More evidence
that CR in monkeys reduces mortality: Mortality and morbidity in
laboratory-maintained Rhesus monkeys and effects of long-term dietary
restriction (A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2003 Mar;58(3):212-9): "Bodkin
NL, Alexander TM, Ortmeyer HK, Johnson E, Hansen BC.
Obesity and Diabetes Research Center, Department of Physiology, School
of Medicine, University of Maryland, Baltimore 21201, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
"Mortality and morbidity were examined in 117 laboratory-maintained
rhesus monkeys studied over approximately 25 years (8 dietary-restricted
[DR] and 109 ad libitum-fed [AL] monkeys). During the study, 49 AL
monkeys and 3 DR monkeys died. Compared with the DR monkeys, the AL
monkeys had a 2.6-fold increased risk of death. Hyperinsulinemia led
to a 3.7-fold increased risk of death (p <.05); concordantly, the
risk of death decreased by 7%, per unit increase in insulin sensitivity
(M). There was significant organ pathology in the AL at death. The
age at median survival in the AL was approximately 25 years compared
with 32 years in the DR. The oldest monkey was a diabetic female (AL)
that lived to be 40 years of age. These results suggest that dietary
restriction leads to an increased average age of death in primates,
associated with the prevention of hyperinsulinemia and the mitigation
of age-related disease."
PMID: 12634286 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
and: Calorie restriction in
rhesus monkeys ( Exp Gerontol. 2003 Jan-Feb;38(1-2):35-46) Mattison
JA, Lane MA, Roth GS, Ingram DK.
Intramural Research Program, Gerontology Research Center, National
Institute on Aging, NIH, 5600 Nathan Shock Drive, Baltimore, MD 21224,
"Calorie restriction (CR) extends lifespan and reduces the incidence
and age of onset of age-related disease in several animal models.
To determine if this nutritional intervention has similar actions
in a long-lived primate species, the National Institute on Aging (NIA)
initiated a study in 1987 to investigate the effects of a 30% CR in
male and female rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) of a broad age range.
We have observed physiological effects of CR that parallel rodent
studies and may be predictive of an increased lifespan. Specifically,
results from the NIA study have demonstrated that CR decreases body
weight and fat mass, improves glucoregulatory function, decreases
blood pressure and blood lipids, and decreases body temperature. Juvenile
males exhibited delayed skeletal and sexual maturation. Adult bone
mass was not affected by CR in females nor were several reproductive
hormones or menstrual cycling. CR attenuated the age-associated decline
in both dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and melatonin in males. Although
81% of the monkeys in the study are still alive, preliminary evidence
suggests that CR will have beneficial effects on morbidity and mortality.
We are now preparing a battery of measures to provide a thorough and
relevant analysis of the effectiveness of CR at delaying the onset
of age-related disease and maintaining function later into life."
PMID: 12543259 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
and: Caloric restriction in primates
(Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2001 Apr;928:287-95) Lane MA, Black A, Handy A,
Tilmont EM, Ingram DK, Roth GS.
Laboratory of Neurosciences, Gerontology Research Center, National
Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, Maryland
21224, USA. MLANE@vms.grc.nia.nih.gov
"Caloric restriction (CR) remains the only nongenetic intervention
that reproducibly extends mean and maximal life span in short-lived
mammalian species. This nutritional intervention also delays the onset,
or slows the progression, of many age-related disease processes. The
diverse effects of CR have been demonstrated many hundreds of times
in laboratory rodents and other short-lived species, such as rotifers,
water fleas, fish, spiders, and hamsters. Until recently, the effects
of CR in longer-lived species, more closely related to humans, remained
unknown. Long-term studies of aging in nonhuman primates undergoing
CR have been underway at the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and
the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW) for over a decade. A number
of reports from the NIA and UW colonies have shown that monkeys on
CR exhibit nearly identical physiological responses as reported in
laboratory rodents. Studies of various markers related to age-related
diseases suggest that CR will prevent or delay the onset of cardiovascular
disease, diabetes, and perhaps cancer, and preliminary data indicate
that mortality due to these and other age-associated diseases may
also be reduced in monkeys on CR, compared to controls. Conclusive
evidence showing that CR extends life span in primates is not presently
available; however, the emerging data from the ongoing primate studies
strengthens the possibility that the diverse beneficial effects of
CR on aging in rodents will also apply to nonhuman primates and perhaps
ultimately to humans."
2004-09-09: Are there similarities
between CR and sleep restriction? Maybe so, as reported in this journal
article in Sleep Medicine Reviews:
Increases in melanin-concentrating hormone and MCH receptor levels in
the hypothalamus of dietary-obese rats • ARTICLE: Molecular
Brain Research, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 30
July 2004, Joanne C. Elliott, Joanne A. Harrold, Peter Brodin, Kerstin
Enquist, Assar Bäckman, Mona Byström, Kerstin Lindgren, Peter
King and Gareth Williams pdf.
Long sleep and mortality: rationale for sleep restriction
Sleep Medicine Reviews, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online
22 April 2004,
Shawn D. Youngstedt and Daniel F. Kripke
Summary: Epidemiologic studies have consistently shown
that sleeping >8 h per night is associated with increased mortality.
Indeed, the most recent American Cancer Society data of 1.1 million
respondents showed that sleeping longer than 7.5 h was associated
with approximately 5% of the total mortality of the sample. The excess
mortality was found even after controlling for 32 potentially confounding
risk factors. Although epidemiologic data cannot prove that long sleep
duration causes mortality, there is sufficient evidence to warrant
future testing of the hypothesis that mild sleep restriction would
decrease mortality in long sleepers. Sleep restriction might resemble
dietary [calorie] restriction as a potential aid to survival. Sleep
restriction has several potential benefits besides possible enhanced
survival. Acute sleep restriction can have dramatic antidepressant
effects. Also, chronic sleep restriction is perhaps the most effective
treatment for primary insomnia. Conversely, spending excessive time
in bed can elicit daytime lethargy and exacerbate sleep fragmentation,
resulting in a vicious cycle of
further time in bed and further sleep fragmentation. Sleep restriction
may be most
beneficial for older adults, who tend to spend excessive time in bed
and have more
sleep fragmentation compared with young adults.
Adaptive effects of moderate sleep restriction?
Analogous to sedentary lifestyle, long TIB or long
total sleep time might be unhealthy partly because
it avoids physiological challenge. Abundant animal
research shows that chronic exposure to mild
stressors, including moderate food restriction,95
heat shock,96 and microgravity 97 can enhance
longevity. Moderate sleep restriction, below levels
which one might normally choose, might promote
longevity via a similar hormetic mechanism.
want to live forever: From the UK, The GuardianUnlimited, reports
"Research shows that mice live longer if they're half-starved.
There's no scientific proof the regime works for humans - yet. But around
a thousand people, most of them men, have drastically cut back on their
calorie intake in the hope of resisting disease and beating the ageing
extends life - No dieting needed? Not likely! Though this article,
from from Harvard and David Sinclair, suggests the potential for the
protein molecule known as Sir2 and often sold in a form known as resveratrol,
to do just that. It seems to do that in some yeast and fruit fly experiments.
However, investigations by Michael Rae
of the Calorie Restriction Society seem to indicate only that
a very-specifically produced version of resveratrol may do the trick;
the stuff being touted by the pill market may, in fact, do more harm
4 April 2003: American
Journal of Clinical article "Calorie restriction and aging:
review of the literature and implications for studies in humans"
argues for the need for further human calorie restriction studies.
23 January 2003: Yet-to-be-aired video segment featuring Society member
Pomerleau, his CR diet and his family. Downloaded and/or view part1
(7meg) and part2 (5.5meg) of the segment
(to save file to your computer, right click on link and choose "Save
03 January 2003: Fox 8 TV (Cleveland, Ohio, USA) features segment
on CR Society member Dean
Pomerleau and his diet. Download and/or view 12.7 MB mpeg file here
(to save file to your computer, right click on link and choose "Save
July 2001: CR
protects against Alzheimer’s disease: "New research is
creating much food for thought. Increasing evidence in animals suggests
that a special diet involving a sharp reduction in calories, termed
caloric restriction, helps the brain battle old age and disease. These
findings may lead to creative, new ways to improve the health of the
human brain...The [false-color images on this
page] above show what happens when researchers inject a toxin into
the hippocampus of rats that stirs up similar deadly reactions. They
found that cells in rats that ate a regular diet degenerated while cells
in rats that ate a calorie-restricted diet resisted the toxin."
Dec. 1999: "NEVER
SAY DIE" Los Angeles Magazine features Roy Walford
26 Aug. 1999: Low-Cal
Diet Blocks Aging Genes. Study co-authored by Dr. Richard Weindruch,
of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The findings are published in
the August 27th issue of the journal Science.