Reducing Food Intake Slows Aging

Armen Hareyan's picture
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Diet and Aging

Reduced food intake as a result of dietary restriction increases the lifespan of a wide variety of metazoans and delays the onset of multiple age-related pathologies.

Dietary restriction elicits a genetically programmed response to nutrient availability that cannot be explained by a simple reduction in metabolism or slower growth of the organism.

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In the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans, the transcription factor PHA-4 has an essential role in the embryonic development of the foregut and is orthologous to genes encoding the mammalian family of Foxa transcription factors, Foxa1, Foxa2 and Foxa3. Foxa family members have important roles during development, but also act later in life to regulate glucagon production and glucose homeostasis, particularly in response to fasting.

Here we describe a newly discovered, adult-specific function for PHA-4 in the regulation of diet-restriction-mediated longevity in C. elegans.

The role of PHA-4 in lifespan determination is specific for dietary restriction, because it is not required for the increased longevity caused by other genetic pathways that regulate ageing.

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