July 14, 2024
Calorie restriction

Calorie restriction promotes the activation of genes associated with muscle health and healthy aging, study finds

Calorie restriction has been found to have positive effects on muscle health and activate biological pathways important for good health, according to a new study. The study, conducted by researchers from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), aimed to investigate the long-term health effects of calorie restriction in humans. The researchers analyzed data from participants in the Comprehensive Assessment of Long-Term Effects of Reducing Intake of Energy (CALERIE) study and found that even a moderate reduction in calorie intake, of just 12%, was enough to activate most biological pathways associated with healthy aging.

The researchers performed comprehensive RNA sequencing analysis on skeletal muscle samples collected from CALERIE participants over a two-year period. They found that calorie restriction affected the same gene pathways in humans as it did in animals, including mice and non-human primates. The gene expression changes were significantly different in calorie-restricted participants compared to controls, including genes related to protein regulation, circadian rhythm regulation, DNA repair, programmed cell death, and inflammation.

The findings of the study suggest that calorie restriction can improve muscle health and activate mechanisms that contribute to healthy aging. Inflammation and aging are closely linked, and calorie restriction can help prevent the development of a pro-inflammatory state in older individuals.

Dr. Luigi Ferrucci, corresponding author of the study, emphasized the significance of the research, stating that a small reduction in calorie intake, such as 12%, can make a big difference in overall health. The study provides insight into the mechanisms by which calorie restriction provides health benefits, particularly for older individuals.

The study adds to the growing body of research supporting the potential benefits of calorie restriction. Previous studies in animal models have shown that calorie restriction can positively affect skeletal muscle and delay the progression of age-related diseases. However, more research is needed to fully understand the effects of calorie restriction on human health.

The findings of this study have implications for healthy aging and may offer new strategies for preventing age-related diseases. Calorie restriction, along with maintaining a balanced diet and engaging in regular physical activity, could be a key component of a healthy lifestyle. Further research is warranted to explore the optimal level of calorie restriction and its potential effects on specific age-related conditions.

In conclusion, a new study has found that calorie restriction can improve muscle health and activate biological pathways associated with healthy aging. Even a moderate reduction in calorie intake, of just 12%, was enough to elicit positive effects on gene expression and inflammation in participants. These findings highlight the potential health benefits of calorie restriction, especially for older individuals. Further research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms underlying these effects and to explore the optimal level of calorie restriction for different age groups and health conditions.