Reducing Calories May Delay Aging, Study Finds
Reducing calories leads to weight loss. But could it also delay the onset of some age-related diseases?
Consuming fewer calories can slow down the aging process, according to researchers at Sweden’s University of Gothenburg. And the sooner one cuts down on calories, the greater the effect.
â€We are able to show that caloric restriction slows down aging by preventing an enzyme, peroxiredoxin, from being inactivated. This enzyme is also extremely important in counteracting damage to our genetic material,” says Mikael Molin of the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology.
Other studies have shown that restricting calories can delay the onset of some age-related diseases, such as cancer and type 2 diabetes, but it was unclear why. The researchers were able to identify peroxiredoxin 1, Prx1, one of the enzymes needed for the anti-aging effects of caloric restriction to work effectively.
The study showed that Prx1 is damaged as we age, but caloric restriction counteracts this by producing more of the enzyme Srx1, which repairs Prx1.
â€œImpaired Prx1 function leads to various types of genetic defects and cancer. Conversely, we can now speculate whether increased repair of Prx1 during ageing can counteract, or at least delay, the development of cancer,â€ according to the study.
The enzyme has also been linked to disorders that affect the nervous system, such as Alzheimerâ€™s and Parkinsonâ€™s. The researchers plan to study if stimulation of Prx1 could delay the onset of these diseases.
The study’s results, published in Molecular Cell journal, are promising, but be sure to consult with your doctor before making any significant changes to your diet.
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