Two diets called caloric restriction and intermittent fasting claim that they can slow down aging. Both intermittent fasting and caloric restriction have become …
How Intermittent Fasting & CR Slow Down Aging
Two diets called caloric restriction and intermittent fasting claim that they can slow down aging. Both intermittent fasting and caloric restriction have become increasingly popular in the last years but can they really help us to live longer? Let's find out!
1:29 What is Aging?
3:20 Caloric Restriction & Aging
7:09 Intermittent Fasting Slows Down Aging
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Cells become older in various ways. Cells accumulate mutations over time which might lead to cancer. Stem cells which renew different parts of our body also become less efficient and mitochondria become less functional. In order to slow down aging we need to prove that A) we live longer and B) cells age slower.
Let’s first talk about caloric restriction. We define caloric restriction as an overall 20-40% reduction of caloric intake. Studies have documented that caloric restriction increases the lifespan of various animals. Mice which have been maintained through their lives lived between 35-65% longer than control mice. In humans, caloric restriction helps to reduce weight, improve insulin-sensitivity and reduce the occurrence of cardiac risk factors. Cells also show less oxidative damage in their DNA and we find higher levels of proteins which are found in "young cells" (including AMPK and sirtuins, which are very famous proteins if we talk about aging). The activity of mitochondria is also increased if we undergo caloric restriction.
Concerning intermittent fasting, it was noted that rats which were maintained on alternate day fasting throughout their lives lived nearly twice as long as control mice. In another study, it was found that older rats lived 30-40% longer if they start with the same diet. In humans, there are also different benefits from intermittent fasting such as weight loss, increased insulin sensitivity, decreased blood pressure and so on. Similar to caloric restriction, intermittent fasting also leads to less DNA damages, more sirtuins and more efficient mitochondria. Stem cells are also more active 24 hours within fasting. For now, it seems like that caloric restriction and intermittent fasting might help us to live longer and slow down aging.
For your further research:
Lee, C., & Longo, V. (2016). Dietary restriction with and without caloric restriction for healthy aging. F1000Research, 5.
Anton, S., & Leeuwenburgh, C. (2013). Fasting or caloric restriction for healthy aging. Exp Gerontol, 48(19), 1003-1005.
López-Otín, C., Blasco, M. A., Partridge, L., Serrano, M., & Kroemer, G. (2013). The hallmarks of aging. Cell, 153(6), 1194-1217.
Mattison, Julie A., et al. (2017) Caloric restriction improves health and survival of rhesus monkeys." Nature communications, 8(1), 1-12.
de Cabo, R. and Mattson, M.P., 2019. Effects of intermittent fasting on health, aging, and disease. New England Journal of Medicine, 381(26), 2541-2551.
Mihaylova, Maria M., et al. (2018) Fasting activates fatty acid oxidation to enhance intestinal stem cell function during homeostasis and aging. Cell Stem Cell 22(5), 769-778.
Mattson, M. P., Longo, V. D., & Harvie, M. (2017). Impact of intermittent fasting on health and disease processes. Ageing research reviews 39, 46-58.
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About Clemens Steinek:
CLEMENS STEINEK is a postgraduate student/youtuber (LifeLabLearner) who is currently conducting stem cell research in Germany.