Fight Aging!

The practice of calorie restriction slows aging to a degree that scales with species life span. Short lived species exhibit a sizable gain in maximum life span, while long-lived species do not. In this paper, researchers report on a study of calorie restriction in grey mouse lemurs, one of our more distant and short-lived primate cousins. The effects are about as dramatic as those observed in mice, and the study is interesting on that point: lab mice normally reach 50% mortality due to aging after 2-3 years while the lemurs used here reach that point at 6-7 years, so one might have expected the lemurs to exhibit much smaller gains in life span as a result of calorie restriction. Nonetheless, by the end of the study, the longest surviving non-calorie-restricted lemurs had been dead for a year, while more than a third of the calorie restricted animals were still alive. Calorie restriction extended the 50% mortality age from 6-7 years to 9-10 years in this species, quite similar to the relative size of results in mice.

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Caloric restriction, i.e., reducing calorie availability by ~20-50%, is one of the rare known strategies that can extend


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