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SUBJECT: Diet for longevity and healthspan

A kind reader replied to my email with an article showing that for longevity, at least in a rodent study, a high protein diet is likely to be hazardous. Even caloric restriction using protein to diminish appetite resulted in a shorter lifespan.

SUMMARY The fundamental questions of what represents a macronutritionally balanced diet and how this maintains health and longevity remain unanswered. Here, the Geometric Framework, a state-space nutritional modeling method, was used to measure inter- active effects of dietary energy, protein, fat, and carbohydrate on food intake, cardiometabolic phenotype, and longevity in mice fed one of 25 diets ad libitum. Food intake was regulated primarily by protein and carbohydrate content. Longevity and health were optimized when protein was replaced with carbohydrate to limit compensatory feeding for protein and suppress protein intake. These con- sequences are associated with hepatic mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) activation and mitochondrial function and, in turn, related to circulating branched-chain amino acids and glucose. Calorie restriction achieved by high-protein diets or dietary dilution had no beneficial effects on lifespan. The results suggest that longevity can be extended in ad libitum-fed animals by manipulating the ratio of macronutrients to inhibit mTOR activation.

Here is the link to the article: http://www.cell.com/cell-metabolism/abstract/S1550-4131(14)00065-5

- Roc, Nutrition Investigator
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