Eternal youth is one of the big dreams in mankind. Although people today grow older than ever before this dream didn´t come true. And often a long time suffering from poor health is the price people have to pay for their high age. Reducing the daily food intake to 70 % of the normal seems to extend lifetime and to reduce the risk of age related diseases. For example, in Okinawa, a Japanese island, people traditionally stop eating before they have enough.
Scientific studies demonstrated that calorie restriction (CR) supports health in organisms from yeasts to mammals. And it´s likely that calorie reduction works for humans, too.
Nevertheless, side effects like constant feeling of freezing and decreased libido make obvious that calorie restriction won´t get very popular. That’s why research is increasingly aimed at finding natural or pharmacological substances, molecules and treatments that imitate the effect of calorie restriction without lowering food intake.
Calorie restrictions. The benefits of eating less
Perhaps it sounds strange but a permanent light hunger stress seems to have various beneficial effects on cells – of course on the condition an adequate nutrition is provided. Some of the most important effects are:
- Modifications in energy metabolism
- Reduction of oxidative stress
Oxygen is important for life. But oxygen is a highly reactive molecule, that can damage cells, too. Calorie restriction reduces the age-associated accumulation of oxidatively damaged lipids, proteins and DNA.
- Increased insulin sensitivity
The age related decline of insulin sensitivity is one of the most important causes for type-II- diabetes.
- Reduction of inflammation
Chronic systemic inflammation is suspected to be connected to many age related diseases like Parkinson´s, dementia etc. and to the process of aging itself. Calorie restriction has shown a strong anti-inflammatory effect in experiments with rodents.
- Support of autophagy
If organelles of a cell are damaged, cells often can repair themselves. In simple words they “eat” the damaged parts and use the material to rebuild them. That´s an important mechanism because if the mitochondria, the powerhouses of the cell, are damaged they become less efficient in producing energy and produce larger amounts of ROS, highly reactive oxygen molecules, that can damage the mitochondrial genome. Growing older usually means a decline in autophagy. Slowing down this decline or even stimulates autophagy it´s very likely to be one of the factors that enhance live time and reduce the risk of sickness.
- Neuroendocrine functions
Calorie restriction seems to influence some hormones in a positive way. For example it suppresses the growth hormone (GH)/ IGF-1. In experiments with mice this enhanced the lifespan of genetic modified mice. Under CR we also can see decreased levels of hormones regulating thermogenesis and basal metabolism and increased levels of anti-inflammatory hormones.
- Hormesis response
Calorie restriction means a light form of stress for the organism. The body tries to defend itself. That is a perfect training against other, stronger stressors.
Calory restriction mimetics. Getting the benefits without the restriction
If you want to get all the benefits of calorie restriction without the restriction, the question is: why does calorie restriction work? What are the signaling pathways and how can we use them?
These pathways playing roles in metabolism are quite old. Evolution did not make major changes on its way from yeasts to humans. One of the most studied substance group in this field are the sirtuins, especially sirtuin 1. Sirtuins are proteins. They influence the activity of a wide array of proteins in the cell. Especially of proteins associated with energy metabolism, stress resistance, cell survival and longevity.
Finding substances that activate sirtuin 1 seems to be a perfect way to start processes in the organism similar to the processes induced by calorie restriction. Such substances can even be found in nature, for example the polyphenol resveratrol, commonly found in red wine grapes. Unfortunately, its bioavailability is very low. It will take 1.000 bottles of red wine per year, to get enough resveratrol for a single person. But in experiments resveratrol enhanced the lifespan of yeast by 70 percent. In studies with mice it seemed to have neuro-protective effects. And resveratrol is not the only sirtuin 1 activator. Other polyphenols like quercetin, fisetin which often are found in fruits and vegetables seem to have similar effects. There´s much to discover for scientists and actually they do and first products enter the market.
Since the aging process already starts in the first course of life, it is reasonable to take measures to maintain health throughout lifespan even before retirement in keeping with the motto “start young and keep trying”. By taking small steps in improving your diet and lifestyle today, health and well-being can be enhanced over the long-term, regardless of the current health status.
Well-aging. A growing market worldwide
Thanks to emerging empirical data demonstrating the ability of foods and ingredients to modify the aging process, well-aging products prosper around the world. The global nutricosmetic market alone is said to generate US$ 7.4 billion by 2020 (Nutraingredients 2015).
Having a strong expertise in ingredients supporting well-aging, Vital Solutions offers natural and effective solutions for various applications including metabolic health, cognitive health and gut health.
Especially with our product Careless®, Careflow® and Care300®, we offer natural high quality products, that can mimick calorie restriction by activation of sirtuin 1. Careless® – an exclusive mango fruit preparation, helps you care less about metabolism and aging while delivering the great taste and pleasure of exotic mango fruits. Careless was devided into two products, Careflow and Care300, based on applications.
Careflow® – activities sirtuin 1 and eNOS. It supports cardiovascular capacity and reduces the risk to develop cardiovascular disease.
Care300® – activities key metabolic master switch enzymes, AMPK and SIRT1, which regulate energy homeostasis and thereby stimulate metabolism, glucose tolerance, and endothelial function.
With our products we allow our industry partners to develop innovative concepts to help their consumers taking small steps for a healthy life span without compromising on taste.