Advanced Cosmetic Medicine in Adelaide have long been advocates of calorie restriction to prolong a healthy life and also to keep looking your best aesthetically for as long as possible. ACM offer a weight loss service for those seeking to lose those dreaded extra kilos.
Laboratory studies on animals like rats, fruit flies, worms, and mice have suggested that a calorie-restricted diet can lead to significantly longer lifespans compared to animals with unrestricted diets.
Yale University researchers in the US have conducted a study, published in the journal Science, which indicates that moderate calorie restriction (14%) might have health benefits for humans. They've also pinpointed a key protein that could potentially extend the "health span," or the disease-free years of a person's life.
This form of diet involves gradually reducing calorie intake over an extended period. In their study spanning 2 years, the scientists focused on 200 participants aged 21-50, with a body mass index ranging from 22.0 to 27.9, categorizing them as healthy and non-obese.
The researchers specifically looked at how calorie restriction impacts the thymus, a gland located in the chest above the heart that plays a role in the immune system by producing T cells, essential for fighting infections.
As individuals age, their thymus becomes fatty and smaller, producing fewer T cells, which results in reduced immunity and greater vulnerability to infections. The Yale scientists utilized MRI scans to examine the thymus glands of participants and discovered that those on calorie-restricted diets exhibited:
Interestingly, this rejuvenation of the thymus did not impact the immune cells it generated.
Additionally, the researchers delved into body fat (adipose tissue), which plays a significant role in the immune system. They found that a gene called PLA2G7, produced by immune cells called macrophages, was responsible for the effects observed due to calorie restriction.
Professor Vishwa Deep Dixit, the senior author of the study, highlighted that the findings establish PLA2G7 as a key player in the impacts of calorie restriction. He noted that understanding the interaction between the metabolic and immune systems, as revealed by these findings, could lead to potential strategies for improving immune function, reducing inflammation, and even enhancing a healthy lifespan.
Professor Dixit also pointed out that because calorie restriction can be detrimental to some individuals, manipulating PLA2G7 might offer benefits without necessitating such restrictive measures.
This article can be found in the Aesthetic Medical Practitioner published on 14/08/23.