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Fewer Calories Slows Aging


Fewer Calories Slows Aging

(September 5, 2001)

Laboratory mice that reduce calorie consumption, even for a short time, avoid the majority of age-related diseases, said Stephen R. Spindler, a biochemist at the University of California, Riverside.

His latest research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2001, suggests for the first time that restricting calories for as little as four weeks can help avoid heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

A dietary regimen of under-nutrition without malnutrition is known as calorie restriction. It has been proven in many ways and by many researchers to extend lifespans in mammals, insects and worms. Now Spindler's team is reporting that calorie restriction produces chemical changes in the body, changes that could be duplicated with pharmaceuticals. "We have already started searching for such compounds," Spindler said.

Although humans are not mice, Spindler said these latest findings could point toward ways to help humans avoid diseases and shortened lifespans. "Our results provide the first way of rapidly screening for compounds that will mimic the effects of calorie reduction in laboratory animals," he said.

Other authors listed on the paper, entitled "Genomic profiling of short- and long-term caloric restriction effects in the liver of aging mice," are Shelley X. Cao, Joseph M. Dhahbi and Patricia L. Mote, all UCR researchers. The paper is available online at www.pnas.org.

The University of California, Riverside (www.ucr.edu) is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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