Today I’ll point out a demonstration of one of the many ways in which calorie restriction and fasting improve matters in our biology, in this case via improved stem cell function. As always it is worth bearing in mind that while forms of calorie restriction produce useful short term and long term healthy benefits in humans, they don’t have anywhere near the same size of effect on life span as occurs in short-lived species such as mice. We didn’t evolve to react as strongly to famines, as famines are typically a much shorter fraction of our life span in comparison to that of a mouse.
Stem cell populations, of different types for each variety of tissue in the body, support surrounding tissue by providing a supply of daughter somatic cells. As aging progresses, stem cell populations become ever less active, and this supply diminishes. Tissue function falters and eventually fails as a consequence. The evidence to date suggests that this decline is at least as much an evolved reaction to the state of damage in the body as it is dysfunction in the stem cells themselves. Numerous demonstrations show that, placed into a
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