MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
John C. Price, Ph.D
Asst. Professor Chemistry and Biochemistry
Brigham Young University
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: Since 1930 it has been known that the rate of biological aging could be modified by the diet. In mice for example if you let them eat as much as they want they will live almost 3 years. Providing essentially the same diet but controlling the number of total calories, there is an almost linear increase in lifespan as you restrict calories. The studies in mice and rats have been repeated hundreds of times since that time. There have been a lot of somewhat conflictive observations, like increased formation of new mitochondria, and increased autophagy which targets organelles for degradation, during stable reduced calorie intake. This expectation, that a restricted diet with fewer calories available to the animal could support increased protein synthesis and degradation and result in increased lifespan, is what got us interested in studying Calorie Restriction. So we measured the relative synthesis rates for several hundred proteins in 18 month old calorie restricted mice which were experiencing the benefits of improved health and lifespan. We found overwhelmingly that the calorie restricted mice had reduced synthesis rates down to as low as 25% of the age matched control group. This observation has now been independently confirmed by multiple groups.