When people set out with the intention of reducing their calorie intake, their main motive is typically weight loss; a conscious effort to instigate an energy deficiency naturally that ultimately leads to weight loss as your body gets to work burning off the body’s energy stores to get through a day.
Fasting diets (diets which require you to only consume food within a limited time frame) often achieve this indirectly and there’s been several studies outlining the additional benefits of this form of diet protocol.
Carrying on from previous research within the remit of health and nutrition, a team from the University of California led by Paolo Sassone-Corsi set out to tackle the impact of aging on the body’s circadian clock – often referred to as the ‘biological clock’.
This ‘clock’ essentially regulates energy utilization throughout the course of a day, with a healthy biological clock efficiently metabolizing energy at cellular level within the body.
The study took liver samples from mice after 6 months and 18 months to better understand how available energy was being distributed through the body. The findings revealed that time had no impact on the body’s metabolic system, however time did play a role on gene expression making energy yield less efficient in the older mice.
A separate group of mice were then later examined, however this group consumed 30% fewer calories than the previous.
The results indicated that adopting this reduced calorie diet led to an un-impeached system of metabolic genes.
The positive impact of a calorie restricted diet was further confirmed by findings from a study conducted by Barcelona’s Institute for Research in Biomedicine.
The study’s methodology was similar to the previous, however in this instance the team examined stem cells from the skin of the mice over the course of time.
Similarly to Sassone-Corsi’s study, findings suggest that the reduced calorie diet led to a seemingly unaffected metabolic rhythm.
The pivotal next step for researchers within this field is to determine why exactly metabolism has such a profound effect on cellular aging. Then determining the specific variable/s associated with this impact allowing for potential manipulation of factors that influence the aging process.