Established link between calorie restriction and health status

(ORDO NEWS) — Caloric restriction reduces the production of a protein associated with chronic inflammation.

Over the past decades, it has been shown that calorie restriction in flies, worms, and mice can increase lifespan in vitro. It remained unclear whether the same pattern was confirmed in humans.

However, a recent study by researchers at Yale University has confirmed the benefits of moderate calorie restriction for improving health, and has also identified a key protein responsible for these processes.

First, the scientists determined the base number of kilocalories consumed for each participant. Then they asked some people to reduce their consumption by 14%, while the rest continued to eat as usual.

The experts analyzed the long-term health effects of calorie restriction over the next two years. Previous experiments in mice have shown that calorie restriction resulted in a reduction in markers of chronic inflammation (which, in turn, is related to excess body fat).

In this regard, scientists also expected to see major effects in humans related to the immune response and the reduction of markers of chronic inflammation.

The team focused on the work of the thymus gland, one of the key organs that support the immune system and is involved in the production of T cells.

The research team used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to determine if there were functional differences in thymus function between those who restricted calories and those who did not.

The thymus of participants in the calorie-restricted group was found to have less fat and greater functional volume after two years of calorie restriction.

The scientists also showed that their thymus was producing more T cells than at the start of the study. However, participants who did not limit their caloric intake showed no change in the functional volume of the thymus gland.

The scientists also focused on finding specific genes that may be involved in improving the metabolic and anti-inflammatory response.

They found marked changes in adipose tissue gene expression: the calorie-restricted group showed a decrease in the expression of PLA2G7 produced by immune macrophage cells. Previous studies in mice have also shown that decreased PLA2G7 expression had a positive effect on their health.

To some extent, the results can be called breakthrough: according to the authors of the work, this opens up opportunities for manipulating the level of expression of PLA2G7 in humans, which will allow you to receive health benefits from calorie restriction without the need to reduce the amount of calories consumed.

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