Does Eating Less Slow Aging Process? Scientists Say Yes


With the passage of time and as the body grows older, people have to grapple with aging. While one cannot stop the body from growing old, it is possible to control the aging process instead.

It's not just about using those anti-age miracle moisturizers or serums, but by controlling and monitoring the calorie intake. That's right! Eat less to live better, as evidenced by a new study.

According to researchers, there exists an astonishing link between one's food intake and ribosome. Since aging happens at a cellular level, eating less may potentially slow down the process.

The Study's Findings

Reducing one's calorie intake impacts the aging that takes place within a cell. The scientists discovered that when ribosomes — which are responsible for generating protein in a cell — slow down, the process of aging is automatically influenced in a positive manner. The slowing down of ribosomes leads to aging decelerating as the ribosomes are able to repair themselves.

"The ribosome is a very complex machine, sort of like your car, and it periodically needs maintenance to replace the parts that wear out the fastest. When tires wear out, you don't throw the whole car away and buy new ones. It's cheaper to replace the tires," says John Price, the senior author and a biochemistry professor at the Brigham Young University.

To demonstrate their hypothesis of reduced calorie consumption slowing down ribosome production, the researchers conducted an experiment on mice.

Two groups of mice were observed for the purpose of the study. One group was allowed to have all kinds of food they love. The other one, the control group, was allowed to consume only 35 percent total calories along with essential nutrients required for survival.

The researchers found that when calorie consumption was reduced, it resulted in a "linear increase" in the lifecycle. Price shared that a balanced calorie intake may lead to some positive biochemical changes, which in turn reduce the pace of aging.

The experiment also showed that the control group was highly energetic and susceptible to lesser number of diseases, when compared with the other group. Moreover, the mice not only had a longer life expectancy but also remained younger for a longer period due to the better maintenance of their body.

Ribosomes essentially use nearly 10 percent to 20 percent of the cell's energy to make the necessary proteins, which help in the cell functions. Therefore, it is not feasible to eradicate a ribosome when it functions improperly.

Since the calorie restriction experiment has not yet been performed on humans as "an anti-aging strategy," it is advisable that one does not cut calorie intake in their diet abruptly in an attempt to be ageless.

Instead, one can always control the food they consume, as well as the amount eaten.

The study has been published in the journal Molecular & Cellular Proteomics.

Photo: Army Medicine | Flickr 

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