Nearly a century ago, researchers discovered that cutting calorie intake was actually able to extend lifespan in various animal species. Although numerous studies have been conducted since to find out exactly why reducing calories can extend lifespan, scientists have been unable to pinpoint the answer. Now, a group of investigators at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University (LKSOM) have uncovered an explanation to the longevity conundrum, something they call “age-related methylation drift.”
These findings may explain why certain animals live for shorter or longer periods of time. For instance, on average, mice live for two to three years, whereas rhesus monkeys live for 25.
Calorie restriction has been known to be one of the most powerful factors for increasing lifespan in animals. This occurs by reducing calories while also maintaining a healthy intake of essential nutrients. In our article 3 Pioneering Epigenetic Labs: Exploring the People and Discoveries that Transcend the Lab Walls, Dr. Tollefsbol shared with us his findings on glucose restriction and longevity.
In young mice, researchers cut calorie intake by 40 percent. For middle-aged monkeys, they cut calorie intake by 30 percent. Significant decreases in epigenetic drift were observed in both species. Age-related changes in DNA methylation in older, calorie-restricted animals were comparable to those of young animals.
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