The benefits of dietary restrictions are known for reducing the risk of heart disease, hypertension, and stroke; however very little is known about the benefits for memory and learning. Researchers from NYU Langone Medical Center have discovered that calorie counting diets can actually slow the aging process in the human brain.
“Our study shows how calorie restriction practically arrests gene expression levels involved in the aging phenotype — how some genes determine the behavior of mice, people, and other mammals as they get old,” lead researcher Dr. Stephen D. Ginsberg said in a statement. While counting calories should not be deemed the “fountain of youth,” this research does “add evidence for the role of diet in delaying the effects of aging and age-related disease.”
Using two groups of female mice, researchers collected findings after feeding one group regular food pellets and feeding the other group food pellets with 30 percent fewer calories. The researchers also gathered tissue samples from the area of the brain affected earliest by Alzheimer’s disease. It was observed that the group who had restricted calories showed a stop in the normal rise and fall in activity levels of around 900 different genes that are associated with brain function. Ginsberg said their work “widens the door to further study into calorie restriction and anti-aging genetics.”