Low calorie diet can slow down ageing: study
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Eating a low calorie diet can slow down the process of ageing, according to new research.
Adhering to a sensible healthy eating regime may even ward off major diseases from diabetes to cancer, and dementia to heartillness, found the study by the Fred HutchinsonCancer Research Center in Seattle.
Researchers discovered that consuming fewer calories, without going hungry, can delay the destruction of vital body cells, the Daily Express reported.
This in turn staves off the dreaded signs of ageing while helping you to stay fit and healthy.
Previous studies have pointed to the need to cut food intake by about 40 per cent to live 20 to 30 per cent longer.
The study focused on a powerhouse of cells called mitochondria. In the early stages of ageing, the mitochondria begin to degrade.
Experts discovered this was because of changes in a membrane - known as the vacuole - which lost its acidity.
However, restricting calorie intake helped to keep the acidity high, researchers told the journal Nature.
"It's very clear from these studies that caloricrestriction has a powerful, protective effect against diseases associated with ageing. If people's hearts are ageing more slowly, it's conceivable they will live for a very long time," said Professor John Holloszy, who has carried out similar research into the effects of cutting calories.
The team at Fred Hutchinson made the latest breakthrough by experimenting on yeast.
"Normally, mitochondria are beautiful, long tubes, but as cells get older, the mitochondria become fragmented and chunky," researcher Dr Daniel Gottschling said.
"The changes in shape seen in ageing yeast cells are also observed in certain human cells, such as neurons and pancreatic cells and those changes have been associated with a number of age-related diseases in humans," Gottschling said.
"There has been a lot in the scientific literature and the general media lately about how what you eat affects the ageing process, but it has been incredibly confusing," Gottschling said.
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