Progress has been made in understanding the physiological effects of calorie-restriction diets, known to increase longevity. Scientists have discovered proteins in fat cells which change according to weight loss in subjects. This could be useful for monitoring the effects of calorie-restriction diets and possibly also increase the effectiveness.
The increasing prevalence of obesity is raising health concerns all over the world, as obesity also increase the risk of other common diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disorders. It has been known for quite some time that calorie restriction extends lifespan and prevents common lifestyle diseases, although the actual physiological effects are not clear, especially the effects on cells that store fat.
Edwin Mariman and colleagues have recently conducted a study where they identified a protein in the fat cells which changed as subjects were undergoing a calorie-restricted diet. The study followed 8 overweight/obese subjects for 5 weeks as they were on a very low calorie diet, where the average weight loss was 9.5 kg body weight. The study focused on proteins in abdominal subcutaneous fat cells where 6 proteins were identified.
The findings could be useful in establishing markers in order to monitor the effect of calorie-restriction diets, and possibly also to increase the effectiveness of such diets. Since fruits and vegetables are important factors in calorie-restricted diets, the effects of increased longevity are probably somewhat connected to the same effects from vegetarian diets.
“Altogether, our findings underscore the potential value of in vivo proteomics for human intervention studies“.
Bouwman, F. G., Claessens, M., van Baak, M. A., Noben, J. -P., Wang, P., Saris, W. H. M., et al. (2009). The Physiologic Effects of Caloric Restriction Are Reflected in the in Vivo Adipocyte-Enriched Proteome of Overweight/Obese Subjects. Journal of Proteome Research, 8(12), 5532-5540.