Monday, July 13, 2009

Caloric restriction enhances longevity in monkeys

It all over the newspapers, but I thought I would pass on the link to work just published by my colleagues at the University of Wisconsin:
Caloric restriction (CR), without malnutrition, delays aging and extends life span in diverse species; however, its effect on resistance to illness and mortality in primates has not been clearly established. We report findings of a 20-year longitudinal adult-onset CR study in rhesus monkeys aimed at filling this critical gap in aging research. In a population of rhesus macaques maintained at the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center, moderate CR lowered the incidence of aging-related deaths. At the time point reported, 50% of control fed animals survived as compared with 80% of the CR animals. Furthermore, CR delayed the onset of age-associated pathologies. Specifically, CR reduced the incidence of diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and brain atrophy. These data demonstrate that CR slows aging in a primate species.

Figure - Animal appearance in old age. (A and B) Photographs of a typical control animal at 27.6 years of age (about the average life span). (C and D) Photographs of an age-matched animal on caloric restriction.

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