FOOD DRINK NUTRITION DIET: DIETING: Caloric Restriction Extends Life in Monkeys, Study Finds

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FOOD DRINK NUTRITION DIET: DIETING: Caloric Restriction Extends Life in Monkeys, Study Finds

David P. Dillard


Caloric Restriction Extends Life in Monkeys, Study Finds

Caloric Restriction Extends Life in Monkeys, Study Finds
Another Study Suggests an Immune-Suppressing Drug
Helps Elderly Mice Live Longer
By Tina Hesman Saey
Web edition :
Thursday, July 9th, 2009
Science News

A shorter URL for the above link:


A 20-year study found that Rhesus monkeys fed a nutritious, low-calorie
diet have fewer age-related diseases than counterparts on a normal diet,
researchers report July 10 in Science. Also, MRIs reveal less shrinking
with age in areas important for decision-making and controlling movement
in the brains of calorie-restricted animals, report Ricki Colman and
Richard Weindruch, both of the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center
at the University of Wisconsin Madison, and colleagues.

These results show that calorie restriction helps preserve primates bodies
and brains, says Luigi Fontana, of Washington University in St. Louis and
the Italian National Health Service in Rome. Calorie restriction has
already been shown to extend the lifespan of mice and dogs, as well as
yeast, fruit flies and worms.

The findings may have ramifications for fighting aging and disease in
humans, Fontana says. Im confident that everything that happens in
[non-human] primates will happen in humans. Since both groups of monkeys
are on a very healthy diet, people who go from a high-fat Western diet to
a healthy, restricted diet may experience even greater health benefits
than seen in this study.


Reduced diet thwarts aging, disease in monkeys
Contact: Richard Weindruch
[hidden email]
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Eureka Alert

Reduced diet thwarts aging, disease in monkeys

MADISON  The bottom-line message from a decades-long study of monkeys on a
restricted diet is simple: Consuming fewer calories leads to a longer,
healthier life.

Writing today (July 10) in the journal Science, a team of researchers at
the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Wisconsin National Primate
Research Center and the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital
reports that a nutritious but reduced-calorie diet blunts aging and
significantly delays the onset of such age-related disorders as cancer,
diabetes, cardiovascular disease and brain atrophy.

"We have been able to show that caloric restriction can slow the aging
process in a primate species," says Richard Weindruch, a professor of
medicine in the UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health who leads
the National Institute on Aging-funded study. "We observed that caloric
restriction reduced the risk of developing an age-related disease by a
factor of three and increased survival."

During the 20-year course of the study, half of the animals permitted to
eat freely have survived, while 80 percent of the monkeys given the same
diet, but with 30 percent fewer calories, are still alive.

Begun in 1989 with a cohort of 30 monkeys to chart the health effects of
the reduced-calorie diet, the study expanded in 1994 with the addition of
46 more rhesus macaques. All of the animals in the study were enrolled as
adults at ages ranging from 7 to 14 years. Today, 33 animals remain in the
study. Of those, 13 are given free rein at the dinner table, and 20 are on
a calorie-restricted diet. Rhesus macaques have an average life span of
about 27 years in captivity. The oldest animal currently in the study is
29 years.

The new report details the relationship between diet and aging, according
to Weindruch and lead study author Ricki Colman, by focusing on the
"bottom-line indicators of aging: the occurrence of age-associated disease
and death."

In terms of overall animal health, Weindruch notes, the restricted diet
leads to longer lifespan and improved quality of life in old age. "There
is a major effect of caloric restriction in increasing survival if you
look at deaths due to the diseases of aging," he says.


Dieting Monkeys Offer Hope for Living Longer
New York Times
Published: July 9, 2009
New York Times

The results from one of the two studies, conducted by a team led by Ricki
J. Colman and Richard Weindruch at the University of Wisconsin, were
reported Thursday in Science. The researchers say that now, 20 years after
the experiment began, the monkeys are showing many beneficial signs of
caloric resistance, including significantly less diabetes, cancer, and
heart and brain disease. These data demonstrate that caloric restriction
slows aging in a primate species, they conclude.

Some critics say this conclusion is premature. But in an interview, Dr.
Weindruch called it very good news.

It says much of the biology of caloric restriction is translatable into
primates, he said, which makes it more likely it would apply to humans.

In terms of deaths, 37 percent of the comparison monkeys have so far died
in ways judged to be due to old age, compared with 13 percent of the
dieting group.

Dr. Weindruch and his statistician, David Allison of the University of
Alabama, Birmingham, said the dieting monkeys were expected to enjoy a
life span extension of 10 percent to 20 percent, based on equivalent
studies started in mice at the same age.

Few people can keep to a diet with 30 percent fewer calories than usual.
So biologists have been looking for drugs that might mimic the effects of
caloric restriction, conferring the gain without the pain. One of these
drugs is resveratrol, a substance found in red wine, though in quantities
too small to have any effect.


Calorie-Counting Monkeys Live Longer
By Michael Torrice
NOW Daily News
9 July 2009

Researchers who study aging are split on how much stock to put in the
study. Leonard Guarente, a molecular biologist at the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology in Cambridge who has studied aging in yeast,
believes that not enough monkeys have died yet to make definitive
comparisons between the two groups. As of March, when Weindruch's group
submitted the paper, about half of the colony was still alive. "The gap
[in survival rates] may separate more, but it's still too early to tell,"
Guarente says. On the other hand, molecular biologist Matthew Kaeberlein
of the University of Washington, Seattle, thinks the gap as it stands now
is still compelling. He points to the difference in age-related deaths
between the two groups as the more relevant statistic. "The fact that they
see a significant effect at this point suggests there will be a robust
effect when they finish the study," he says.


The complete articles may be read at the URLs provided for each.


David Dillard
Temple University
(215) 204 - 4584
[hidden email]
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