Caloric Restriction Prolongs Life: Research from University of Connecticut

2023-12-13 16:24:00

Scientists from University of Connecticut (USA)) found that reducing the calorie intake of the diet prolongs the life of both old and young fruit flies, reports with reference to

The results of the study were published in PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences).

Fruit flies (Drosophila) were fed a specialized diet high in protein, sugar and calories to mimic the diet of humans with poor eating habits. Researchers have sought to induce the development of metabolic disorders such as obesity and diabetes in animals. The flies were then put on a different diet, which involved cutting their calorie intake to half its previous value. It is noted that some of the fruit flies, whose data were also included in the study, adhered to this caloric intake from the moment they were born.

Young male flies that switched from a high-calorie diet to a low-calorie diet at 20 days of age lived very long lives, the duration of which was similar to that of insects that ate little from birth. The researchers were also surprised that caloric restriction extended the life of old flies in poor health.

Older fruit flies raised on a high-calorie diet had more lipids in their bodies and expended more energy to protect body cells from oxidation by reactive oxygen species. It is also noted that in old insects that have survived to 50-60 days (at this age, the life of most flies with metabolic disorders ends), switching to a low calorie diet, the metabolism changes and life expectancy increases significantly.

The researchers suggested that similar mechanisms may apply to human health. They noted that it is likely that changing the diet of older adults with obesity can have a beneficial effect on their well-being and life expectancy. This means that people who have eaten poorly for most of their lives can try to neutralize the dangerous consequences by reducing the caloric intake of their diet. The researchers are now analyzing data from female fruit flies to see if there are any sex-related differences in response to diet.

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