Caloric restriction is the most effective and well-documented pathway to longevity in animal studies. Both the mean and maximum life spans of yeast, rotifers, water fleas, nematodes, fruit flies, spiders, fish, hamsters, rats, mice, and dogs have been extended significantly by decreasing normal caloric consumption by 30 percent to 40 percent (Weindruch R et al 1988).
When calorie restriction with optimal nutrition (CRON) is begun in young animals, they remain smaller and leaner than their free-feeding counterparts (Weindruch R et al 1988). They also withstand a number of stressors better than their free-feeding counterparts (Berg TF et al 1994; Heydari AR et al 1993; Masoro EJ 1998).
Increased life span in yeast can be induced by adding resveratrol, an antioxidant found in red wine, to their growth medium. These results have been replicated in both worms (Caenorhabditis elegans) and pomace flies (Drosophila melanogaster) (Wood JG et al 2004), suggesting that the action of resveratrol may be equivalent to that of caloric restriction. Whether resveratrol will prove to be a caloric restriction agent in mammals, primates, and humans remains to be seen.
Recent studies at the BioMarker Pharmaceuticals laboratory have shown that a nutrient formula from the Life Extension Foundation that contains extracts of grape seed and skin, a whole red grape resveratrol extract, vitamin C, and calcium (from calcium ascorbate) can produce many of the gene expression effects found in mice on CRON. Studies funded by the Life Extension Foundation at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing have shown that this formula can improve the strength and coordination of pomace flies (D melanogaster) afflicted with a motor disorder that is similar to Parkinson’s disease in humans. This formula can protect mitochondria (the energy-generating power plants in the cell) isolated from rat livers from damage caused by exposure to carcinogens.
John Abdo: Fitness for a longer, healthier Life Extension Update Exclusive
John Abdo has been extolling the benefits of fitness and a healthy lifestyle for more than 35 years. A Life Extension member since 1989, he has been in the trenches helping people achieve their goals, first as a coach, then as the star of his own television show, and now as the inventor of numerous fitness machines. Throughout his career, he has benefited from Life Extension’s insights into the benefits of proper nutrition and supplementation in preventing the diseases that so often accompany aging.
Many instructors and fitness enthusiasts are switching from long, slow exercise sessions to short fast ones. Now available for the first time through Life Extension is a fast-twitch DVD routine called the No Excuses Workout™ developed by award-winning fitness pioneer, John Abdo. No Excuses Workout is a fast-twitch total body routine that's completed in only seven minutes. It requires no equipment and can be performed almost anywhere you like: home, office or hotel room, hence the title No Excuses. www.lef.org/abdo