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Live longer with a low-cal diet

health-and-fitness Updated: Jul 16, 2010 18:35 IST

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Scientists reveal why a restricted diet can lead to a longer lifespan and reduce incidence of age-related diseases – even if adopted late in life.

Scientists at the BBSRC Centre for Integrated Systems Biology of Ageing and Nutrition (CISBAN) at Newcastle University set out to find why a restricted diet affects cell senescence.

"Our research, which looked at parts of the body that easily show biological signs of ageing, suggests that a restricted diet can help to Low cal Dietreduce the amount of cell senescence occurring and can reduce damage to protective telomeres," said Chunfang Wang, the lead researcher on this project at CISBAN.

Telomeres are the protective ''ends'' of chromosomes that prevent errors, and therefore diseases.

The adult mice were fed a restricted diet for a short period of time demonstrating that it may not be necessary to follow a very low calorie diet for a lifetime to gain the benefits the scientists found.