Posted on Sep 04, 2023, 8 p.m.
- Researchers from the Babraham Institute have shown that the content of diet in yeast, rather than caloric intake, influences yeast health in later stages of their lifecycle.
- The different diet placed cells on a path to age healthily and avoid aging pathologies, though they did not live longer.
- While their results cannot be directly translated into humans, these findings show that healthy aging can be achieved by optimizing diet, if changes are made at an early stage in life.
- Their experiments have been published in the journal PLOS BIOLOGY
Based on their experiments in yeast, the researchers are proposing an alternative link between diet and aging. The team reports that healthy aging is achievable through dietary change without restriction by potentially optimizing dietary patterns. Additionally, the team suggests that ill health is not an inevitable part of the aging process.
Research indicates that caloric restriction can help to improve health later in life and may even help to extend life. However, studies show that caloric restriction needs to be maintained throughout life to achieve this impact, and the health benefits disappear when a normal diet is resumed. This research suggests an alternative to calorie restriction can lead to improved health throughout the lifecycle.
“We show that diet in early life can switch yeast onto a healthier trajectory. By giving yeast a different diet without restricting calories we were able to suppress senescence, when cells no longer divide, and loss of fitness in aged cells.” Said Dr Dorottya Horkai, lead researcher on the study.
Yeast is often used in research because they are good model organisms for studying aging as they share many of the same cellular machinery as both animals and humans. Yeast research helps to seek more achievable ways to improve healthy aging through diet compared to sustained and severe caloric restriction, however, additional research is required.
For this study, yeast was grown on a galactose diet rather than a glucose-rich diet; the researcher reported that many molecular changes that normally accompany aging did not occur. Cells grown on galactose remained as fit as young cells even late in life, despite not living any longer, showing that the period of ill health towards the end of life was dramatically reduced.
“Crucially, the dietary change only works when cells are young, and actually diet makes little difference in old yeast. It is hard to translate what youth means between yeast and humans, but all these studies point to the same trend - to live a long and healthy life, a healthy diet from an early age makes a difference.” explains Dr. Houseley.
As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement.
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