Calorie Restriction Boosts Gene Activity Protecting Cells from Aging

Calorie Restriction Boosts Gene Activity Protecting Cells from Aging

by Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei
Posted September 22, 2007 in DNA in General

spinach saladFolks following the calorie restriction with optimal nutrition (CRON) lifestyle must be crowing with delight today. New research shows that calorie restriction puts cells under stress but instead of causing cell damage, two genes–SIRT3 and SIRT4–are activated that actually protect cells from aging. Dr. David Sinclair has found that cells from laboratory rodents who were made made to fast for 48 hours experienced the following sequence of events:

  1. Activation of the Nampt protein
  2. Boost in mitochondrial NAD+ production
  3. Activation of SIRT3 and SIRT4 genes which begin producing enzymes
  4. These enzymes rejuvenate the mitochondria so that it can continue generating energy for the cell. Consequently, apoptosis (cell death) and resultant aging are delayed.

Peter Voss has written a number of articles about CRON in which he says that calorie restriction does not have to be difficult or unpleasant. He says CRON practitioners should aim for a target BMI of around 18.5 or body fat of about 5% for men and 8% for women.

And you may wonder as I did – What’s the difference between calorie restriction and anorexia? CRON follower and former anorexic Emi says:

CRON is all about nutrition for optimum health. When I was in AN [anorexia] mode I didn’t care about anything other than calories. So I totally shunned fat in any form, stayed away from high carb food, minimized protein, and generally just nibbled on carrots, apples, celery, and the other usual stuff. No concept of nutrition was in my head, no ideas about how food was a source of life, health, and even an increased lifespan.

CRON is the opposite. It’s all about eating, with the focus being on as much nutritional bang for the buck as possible. So there isn’t a lot of room for junk food, sweets, or desserts, because they just aren’t nutritious. There is a lot of room for vegetables, fruit, lean protein sources, and high-quality fats.

For more information, visit the Calorie Restriction Society of “people trying to live longer by eating fewer calories.”

Could you do with a little calorie restriction? I know I could….

Tags: , , , , , , diet

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