Reduced caloric intake and lifespan

Jo Robinson jor at
Mon Dec 4 14:04:32 EST 1995

John Leonard (leonardj at wrote:
: Is Reduced caloric intake the only proven way to increase lifespan in 
: laboratory animals? According to what I've read, it is, and I would like to 
: see more about this subject, from those who have some expertise.
	Melatonin has been shown to increase lifespan in both mice and rats -
- although I don't believe anyone has shown that it increases *maximum*
lifespan.Interestingly, calorie restriction -- the most reliable way to
increase maximum lifespan in animals -- results in preservation of pineal
function. In others words, these calorie-restricted animals continue to produce
relatively high amounts of melatonin into old age.
	[R. J. Reiter "Food restriction retards aging of the pineal gland"
Brain Research 1991; 545:66-72]
	Something that is important about melatonin as a potential anti-aging 
strategy is that treatment can be initiated in animals at an old age and
still be effective.  Calorie restriction -- the "fast and you'll last" theory 
of prolonging youth -- is most effective when begun at an early age.
	Another proven way to increase lifespan is to prevent
free radical damage by increasing the production of endogenous antioxidants
or by restricting movement -- which results in a lower consumption of oxygen
and, thereby, a lower production of free radicals. (Couch potatoes take note.)
[Yu, B.P Free Radicals IN Aging (Boca Raton:CRC Press, 1993]

                       Jo Robinson    jor at
 Co-author, with Russel J. Reiter- MELATONIN: Your Body's Natural Wonder Drug
          For a melatonin FAQ, go to:
     (Note: I have no financial connection with any melatonin supplier.)

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