- A study in mice suggests that meal timing is important for maximizing the anti-aging effects of calorie restriction.
- On a calorie-restricted diet, mice that ate only during the active phase of their biological cycle lived approximately 35% longer than control mice that ate whenever they wanted.
- The mice on a calorie-restricted diet, who only ate during the inactive phase, lived only 10% longer than the control mice.
- If the results hold true for humans, they suggest that to maximize longevity, people should reduce their calorie intake and avoid eating late at night.
Research shows that in all of these organisms, nutritional deficiency leads to physiological changes that promote longevity and delay the onset of age-related diseases.
Animal studies have revealed that the timing of caloric restriction can have an effect due to the circadian system, which controls the daily cycles of physiology, metabolism, and behaviors such as eating. This has also been linked to aging.
This led researchers at the University of Texas (UT) Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, to investigate whether meal timing contributes to prolonging the effects of calorie restriction.
Several studies have shown that calorie restriction increases the average lifespan of mice. But most of this research involved scientists feeding lab mice a calorie-restricted diet during the day.
Unlike humans, mice are nocturnal, which means they have evolved to feed at night.
So the scientists in their study used robotic feeders to make sure some mice ate only during the night.
To determine whether meal timing had an effect on age – independent of calorie restriction and fasting – they divided the animals into 6 groups.
In one group, it served as a control, the animals could eat ad (As much as they want and whenever they want).
The remaining five groups ate calorie-restricted diets (30-40% fewer calories) with the same total calorie intake but with different feeding schedules.
Control the mice that ate ad The average lifespan of mice was 800 days, while mice on a calorie-restricted diet with food available around the clock lived 875 days, or 10% longer.
The mice on a calorie-restricted diet who ate only during the day (the inactive phase of the circadian cycle) and fasted for 12 hours overnight lived for 959 days. In other words, they lived approximately 20% longer than the controls.
But the calorie-restricted mice who ate only during their active phase, and then fasted for the remaining 12 hours, lived the longest. These animals recorded a mean lifespan of 1068 days, which is approximately 35% longer than that of the control animals.
Scientists reported their findings in Science.
“We’ve discovered a new facet of caloric restriction that significantly extends the lifespan of lab animals,” says senior author Dr.
“If these findings hold true in people, we may want to rethink whether we really want a midnight snack,” he adds.
They also found that calorie-restricted diets improved the animals’ regulation of glucose levels and insulin sensitivity, but the improvements were greater for mice that only ate at night (their active phase).
Dr. Takahashi said this indicated that the mice were healthier and aging slower Medical news today.
The researchers found that in all mice, aging increased the activity of genes responsible for inflammation and decreased the activity of genes involved in metabolism and circadian rhythms.
Calorie restriction slowed these age-related changes, but the mice that ate just one night reaped the biggest benefits.
“Since aging can be seen as a gradual increase in inflammation, [calorie restriction] It also delays this age-related increase in inflammation, which is also consistent with delaying the aging process,” said Dr. Takahashi.
The authors note some limitations of their study.
In particular, they wrote, the sleep disruption of mice that ate during the day (during the inactivity phase) may have shortened their lifespan.
In addition, all mice in the study were male. The authors wrote that in females, ovarian hormones may provide some protection against disturbances in circadian rhythms.
As with all research involving animal models, the study may not translate well to humans.
If the results apply to humans, who have the opposite active phase of mice, the scientists suggest that eating earlier in the evening is best for healthy aging.
One day, it may also be possible to develop drugs that target the circadian genes or the proteins they make, in order to mimic the anti-aging benefits of eating only during the active phase.
“[W]”We are working on this idea and looking for drugs that can enhance daily compatibility,” said Dr. Takahashi. “Fingers intertwined!”
Eating late at night interferes with the body’s ability to keep blood sugar levels within a healthy range.
A recent study found that this was especially true for people with a particular variation in the melatonin receptor gene.
Melatonin is a hormone that helps control the sleep-wake cycle. With its high levels in the evening, it not only leads to drowsiness, but also to drowsiness
As a result, the body has more difficulty controlling blood sugar levels after meals that are close to bedtime.
Maryam Eid, RD, said: “Because many people choose high-carb snacks in the late evening, such as chips, crackers, candy or popcorn, these snacks are more likely to impair glycemic control and increase the risk of prediabetes. and diabetes.” D., LD, a dietitian and founder of A Happy AOneC, which advises teens and young adults recently diagnosed with diabetes.
“Therefore, eating carbohydrate-rich meals and snacks earlier in the day promotes better blood sugar balance and supports the prevention of prediabetes and diabetes,” she said. MNT.