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If you eat fewer calories while still getting a well balanced nutritional diet,the chances are good that you will live longer. That seems to be the upshot of several reports that have been published over the years. It has been reported for many years that chronic calorie restriction without nutritional deficiencies increases the length of life. Now a study reports that they may have found a gene that explains why calorie restriction may lengthen life. Scientists can "knock out" or shut down the function of various genes in a study animal to see which are important. They are able to selectively turn off a gene in an animal and then see what happens. It is somewhat analogous to going into the electrical equipment room of a large building and removing a part from some machine you see. If the air conditioner stops working you know that part had some relation to the air conditioning. They often use a worm called C. elegans because it is so simple and well understood yet by studying it they can probably learn lessons applicable to higher organisms.

A research group says that they have a found a gene that codes for a protein in C. elegans that is related to longevity and that calorie restriction may be causing increased production of the pha-4 protein and so leading to longer life (at least in C. elegans).
  • Gene Clue to Longevity Uncovered
  • The Lab of Andrew Dillin at the Salk Institute

    VIDEO CALORIE RESTRICTION CHASING LIFE -Click the arrow to start the video

  • Science Friday:Audio of Dr. Eric Ravussin on Benefits of Calorie Restriction

  • Calorie Restriction Extends Life Span— But Which Calories?
  • Three Physiological Measures Linked To Longevity in Men and
  • Eat Less, Live Longer? The Quest to Learn Why Slashing Calories Extends Life and
  • Aging: A Biological Perspective

    CALERIE Eat Less Live More

    CALERIE Comprehensive Assessment of Long-term Effects of Reducing Intake of Energy is an ongoing study with human volunteers that hopes to discover whether people who eat less live longer.

    Calorie Restriction for Long Life Paradigm Known for 6o Years

    To quote from an article Caloric Restriction in Primates "Dietary caloric restriction (CR) is the only intervention conclusively and reproducibly shown to slow aging and maintain health and vitality in mammals. Although this paradigm has been known for over 60 years, its precise biological mechanisms and applicability to humans remain unknown. We began addressing the latter question in 1987 with the first controlled study of CR in primates (rhesus and squirrel monkeys, which are evolutionarily much closer to humans than the rodents most frequently employed in CR studies). To date, our results strongly suggest that the same beneficial "anti aging" and/or "anti disease" effects observed in CR rodents also occur in primates. These include lower plasma insulin levels and greater sensitivity; lower body temperatures; reduced cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, and arterial stiffness; elevated HDL; and slower age-related decline in circulating levels of DHEAS. Collectively, these biomarkers suggest that CR primates will be less likely to incur diabetes, cardiovascular problems, and other age-related diseases and may in fact be aging more slowly than fully fed counterparts. Despite these very encouraging results, it is unlikely that most humans would be willing to maintain a 30% reduced diet for the bulk of their adult life span, even if it meant more healthy years. "

    What is it about Eating Fewer Calories That Increases Longevity also the New England Centenarian Study

    So scientists have been trying to determine what if anything is happening in caloric restriction that would prolong life.
  • Molecules Discovered that Extend Life in Yeast, Human Cells and
  • Eating Less and Living Longer: Can’t We Find an Easier Way?
  • plus Gene That Extends Lifespan In Yeast Points To Paradigm Shift In Longevity Research May Explain Life Extension Via Calorie Restriction

  • Study: Lean Diet May Mean Long Life
  • Eat Less Live Longer and also see Fasting Forestalls Huntington’s Disease in Mice and also
  • Protein Structure Provides Clue to Long Life

    New England Centenarian Study

    On a related note examine the New England Centenarian Study at Boston University School of Medicine that tries to figure out factors that help people to live longer.