Researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center say cutting calories may be the best strategy for dieters looking to slow the aging process and live a few extra years. Previous studies have touted the benefits of calorie counting as a strategy for staving off heart disease and other common maladies, but the latest findings are the first to connect calorie intake with aging and memory.
"Our study shows how calorie restriction practically arrests gene expression levels involved in the aging phenotype -- how some genes determine the behavior of mice, people, and other mammals as they get old," lead researcher Stephen D. Ginsberg, a NYU Langone neuroscientist, said in a press release.
Of course, simply eating less isn't a cure-all for the risks associated with getting older, but Ginsberg says the new study does "add evidence for the role of diet in delaying the effects of aging and age-related disease."
Ginsberg and his colleagues looked at the relationship between restrictive diets and more than 10,000 different types of genes related to aging and memory. They found calorie restriction slowed age-related degeneration of more than 882 genes in the hippocampal region of mice brains.
The researchers presented their findings at the annual conference of the Society for Neuroscience held in Washington, D.C.