My project included a multi-scale Systems Biology approach to unravel the relationship between calorie restriction, physical activity, and biological aging.
So far, the first results indicate that:
- Eating a Western-style diet left‐shifted the survival curve of mice, compared to mice feeding a standard diet. This left shift was associated with increased energy intake, adiposity, liver triglycerides, plasma cholesterol, corticosterone, insulin resistance levels, and decreased adiponectin levels. Several of these health parameters improved by giving mice access to a running wheel, while other health parameters further deteriorated. Apart from these multiple and diverging health effects of having access to a running wheel, it did not affect survival curves.
- Mice feeding a Western-style diet resulted in increased adiposity, triglyceride levels in plasma, insulin resistance, and resting metabolic rate compared to the standard diet group. This was accompanied by reduced survival in the Western-style diet group. Dietary restriction irrespective of diet type improved the abovementioned parameters. Lifelong restricted consumption of a Western-style diet led to improved metabolic and endocrine parameters, and increased survival compared to the ad libitum Western-style diet group. Interestingly, the survival was comparable in restricted Western-style and standard diet groups, suggesting that reduced food intake rather than diet composition plays a more important role in promoting longevity/survival.