While aging typically invokes mental images of grey hair and wrinkles, it's more accurate to think about it as something that occurs in every cell of our body. And new research, published in Molecular & Cellular Proteomics, explains how calorie restriction could make us live longer and healthier lives, because of its effects deep inside our cells. And this is exciting, because now even science is starting to tell us that—like most things in life—it's what's on the inside that really counts.
Less calories for a longer life?
This study, performed on mice, restricted calories in one group by thirty five percent and observed their health and activity compared to mice eating a full-calorie diet. Results showed mice on a calorie-restricted diet clearly lived longer, while still receiving all the nutrients they needed to survive. The mice consuming fewer calories were also healthier and stayed younger for longer—experiencing more energy and fewer diseases. According to scientists on the study, "the restriction caused real biochemical changes that slowed down the rate of aging." And these biochemical changes have everything to do with proteins and ribosomes.
Why we should all care about our ribosomes.
Protein homeostasis (or the activity of proteins) is a key factor in the health and lifespan of living creatures. Ribosomes are structures in our cells that synthesize proteins, so essentially when ribosomes slow down, protein production slows down. And while this may sound like a bad thing, when there is less ribosomal activity there is more time for cellular repair and processes that recycle old or dead cells—which are key factors in disease prevention and longevity. And while this study doesn't tell us exactly what this means for humans in terms of how much we should eat, it does tell us that dietary factors play a part in ribosomal activity—meaning diet is also linked to protein homeostasis and healthy aging.
Another case for inside-out beauty.
Any time we walk into a department store or pharmacy we are bombarded with anti-aging creams, potions and serums. But if we're honest with ourselves, we know that both aging and beauty are merely a reflection of what's happening deep inside our bodies (and our minds). And that's a good thing, because there are a ton of great ways to nurture our cells. All in all, graceful aging is all about preparing for the future as best we can, and then loving ourselves unconditionally—at all points in time.