How Intermittent Fasting Is Anti-Aging
A great way to increase your lifespan, promote better health, and assist in weight loss is to reduce your calorie or protein intake. Here’s how it works:
HOW RESTRICTION CAN HELP WITH MITOCHONDRIAL HEALTH
You get amino acids in your diet – and these are essential for good health. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, and play an essential role in bodily functions like cell building and synthesis of hormones and neurotransmitters.
Some foods that give you amino acids include quinoa, eggs, cottage cheese, mushrooms, legumes, fish, beans, and more.
However, temporarily restricting them can have anti-aging benefits.
The reduction of amino acids will affect the TOR1-Sch9 pathway. Reduced glucose changes the Ras2-cAMP-PKA pathway. Both pathways are important to healthspan. Dietary restriction inhibits these pathways, this results in enhanced mitochondrial respiration and activation of enzymes that promote the production of stress-sensitive transcription factors. These then cause the cell to make more stress resistance systems that postpone aging.
Dietary restriction preserves mandatory mitochondrial function for life by increasing the efficiency of any given mitochondria. The actual effect on forming new mitochondria may or may not occur; this is being studied.
The master regulator of mitochondrial biosynthesis is PGC-1alpha. PGC-1alpha controls energy and nutrient homeostasis along with AMPK. Stimulation of PGC-1alpha in skeletal muscle can result in fiber-type switching.
This also is needed for the stimulation of mitochondrial oxidative metabolisms and many aspects of the fasting response in the liver. This happens through interaction with the transcription factors NRF-1 and NRF-2. The ability of a cell to start and anti-oxidation program in the face of elevated ROS depends upon PGC-1alpha.
INTERMITTENT FASTING AND CELLULAR HEALTH
PGC-1alpha are not only key to mitochondrial biosynthesis, but are very important with regard to cell protection from oxidative stress. As with most molecules, a balance of the right amount of PGC-1alpha is needed for life extension.
Calorie restriction seems to achieve that balance.
There is a lot of research being conducted on the targets of the same pathways that dietary restriction stimulates.
Molecules such as resveratrol and other polyphenols, rapamycin, insulin, AMPK pathway activators, autophagy stimulators, alpha-lipoic acid and other antioxidants are ways to achieve the same goals as strict calorie restriction.
The signaling involved in the pro-health and the anti-aging results from dietary restrictions include the following: insulin, insulin-like growth factore-1 (IGF-1), TOR, NAD+-dependent sirtuin deacetylase, PCG-1alpha, mitochondrial retrograde paths, AMPK and others.
Inactivation of the insulin/IGF-1 pathways result in increasing thermotolerance and also an increase of antioxidant defenses, which results in enhanced longevity. This happens because of the activation of a stress resistance factor, Daf-16 (forkhead transcription factor) by dietary restriction stimulation.
In summary, the benefits of dietary restriction are clear with regard to weight loss and lifespan extension. This works through preservation of cellular mitochondrial function.