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CALORIE RESTRICTION

 

Calory restriction is a dietary regiment of about 1700 kcal daily. In variety of species Calory Restriction increases lifespan and in humans† decreases insulin, glucose, cholesterol levels in blood and blood pressure and improves memory.

(Witte, A. Et Al., Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Science, January, 2009).

 

Calorie restriction (CR) must maintain the levels of vital nutrients. First time discovered in the 1930s, when laboratory rodents fed a severely reduced diet were found to outlive their well-fed peers.

Best proof are the centenarians of the Japanese island Okinawa (34,7 per 100 000 inhabitants). People from the islands of Ryūkyū have the longest reporeted life expectancy in the world. This has in part been attributed to the local diet The Okinawa diet consist mainly of green and yellow vegetables, sweet potatoes, it is low on fat, no meat or dairy products, a little bit of fish. Calorie Restriction is a common measure in Okinawa and other diets.

 

 

OKINAWA DIET

 

Generally, the traditional Okinawa diet is 20% lower in calories than the Japanese average and contains 300% of green and yellow vegetables. The Okinawan diet is low in fat and has only 25% of the sugar and 75% of the grains of the average Japanese dietary intake. The traditional diet also includes fish (less than half a serving per day), soy and other vegetables. Almost no meat, eggs or dairy products are consumed.

 

 

  

 

About the MECHANISMS OF ACTION on cellular level exist different theories:

For ex. Improvement of the mitochondrial function by activating the sirt genes. Cr restricts the glucose metabolism and increases the resistance of the cells to oxidative stress.

Sir2 gene is a longevity gene and might be responsible for the effect of calorie restriction by suppressing DNA instability. In bakerís yeast the sir2 enzyme is activated by caloric restriction and leads to 30% lifespan extension. In mammals the sirt1 gene is activated by cr and promotes the cells survival (Cohen H., Sinclair D., 2004 Science, 305,390). Other paper explores the mutations of sirt1, stem cells and the aging process (Mantel C., Curr Opin Chematol. 2008, 15(4), 326)

 

A study conducted on nematode worms determined that the gene pha-4 is responsible for the longevity behind calorie restriction in animals (Dillin Et Al., Nature, 2007).

Other theory says that CR places the organism in a defensive state so that it can survive adversity  and this results in improved health and longer life. The involvement of mitochondria is reported in works on a small worm named Caenorhabditis Elegans suggesting that restriction of glucose metabolism extends life span primarily by increasing oxidative stress to stimulate the organism into having an ultimately increased resistance to further oxidative stress (Schulz, Ristow M. Et Al, 2007, Cell metabolism 6 (4): 280-293).

 

The discovery of the protective role of telomerase and telomeres on the chromosomes brought the scientists Blackburn, Greider, Szostak the Nobel prize for medicine in 2009.

Telomeres are at the end of the chromosomes, protecting them from fusing and our lifespan is limited by their shortening with every cell division.

Telomeres consist of tandemly repeated dna sequence TTAGGG, Where T, A† and G represent the deoxyribonucleosides Thymidine, Adenosine And Guanosine.

When I was a UNESCO fellow at the Tokyo Institute Of Technology, I worked on modified nucleosides- more precisely the Uridine derivative (cmam5um2), found in t-RNA. (J.Org.Chem. 52 ,5060, 1987, Sekine M., Peshakova L., Hata Tsujiaki).

Later in Bulgaria and Belgium I also worked on modified nucleosides

 

 

 

 

 


The article is copyright protected, make reference to my lecture "Science and Science Fiction toward Life Extension" in the TokyoTech & UNESCO Symposium, 2009




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