September 7 2018. An article published on September 6, 2018 in Cell Metabolism reported the finding of researchers from the National Institute on Aging (NIA), the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in New Orleans of a longevity benefit for once- per-day feeding in male mice.
Two hundred ninety-two mice were divided to receive one of two diets. One diet was naturally-sourced and was lower in fat and added sugar and higher in protein and fiber than the other diet. Each group was divided into three subgroups that received unlimited access to food, 30% fewer calories than the first group, or one meal per day that contained the same number of calories consumed by the first group.
Calorie-restricted mice and mice fed once daily survived longer than the animals who ate as much as they liked and experienced delays in the development of age-related damage to the liver and other organs. Diet composition was not found to affect the lifespan of these groups.
“This study showed that mice who ate one meal per day, and thus had the longest fasting period, seemed to have a longer lifespan and better outcomes for common age-related liver disease and metabolic disorders,” reported NIA Director Richard J. Hodes, MD.” “These intriguing results in an animal model show that the interplay of total caloric intake and the length of feeding and fasting periods deserves a closer look.”
“Increasing daily fasting times, without a reduction of calories and regardless of the type of diet consumed, resulted in overall improvements in health and survival in male mice,” concluded lead researcher Rafael de Cabo, PhD. “Perhaps this extended daily fasting period enables repair and maintenance mechanisms that would be absent in a continuous exposure to food.”