A new mouse study suggests fasting every other day can help fend off diabetes and protect brain neurons as well as or better than either vigorous exercise or caloric restriction. The findings also suggest that reduced meal frequency can produce these beneficial effects even if the animals gorged when they did eat, according the investigators at the National Institute on Aging (NIA). ?The implication of the new findings on the beneficial effects of regular fasting in laboratory animals is that their health may actually improve if the frequency of their meals is reduced,? says Mark Mattson, Ph.D., chief of the NIA?s Laboratory of Neurosciences.
To remain young at heart, eat less. That’s the message drawn from new research out of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where a team of scientists studied middle-aged mice that were put on a calorie-restricted diet. What they found were signs of a remarkable uptick in heart health in old age. “It looks like caloric restriction just retarded the whole aging process in the heart,” said one of the researchers. The new study provides evidence that — even starting in middle age — cutting calories can confer significant health benefits for the heart and extend its working life. It does so, according to the team’s results, by exerting influence on the genetic program that governs heart cells.