Purpose of review
Many prevalent clinical conditions, such as chronic kidney disease, diabetes mellitus, chronic obstructive pulmonary, and cardiovascular disease associate with features of premature ageing, such as muscle wasting, hypogonadism, osteoporosis, and arteriosclerosis. Studies on various animal models have shown that caloric restriction prolongs lifespan. Studies of animals with unusual long or short life for their body size may also contribute to better understanding of ageing processes. The aim of the present article is to review what we can learn about nutritional modulations and ageing interactions from animal biology.
Caloric restriction is a powerful intervention that increases longevity in animals ranging from short-lived species, such as worms and flies, to primates. As long-term studies on caloric restriction are not feasible to conduct in humans, much interest has focused on the impact of caloric restriction mimetics, such as resveratrol, on ageing processes. Recent data from studies on the long-lived naked mole rat have provided important novel information on metabolic alterations and antioxidative defense mechanisms that characterize longevity.
Better understanding of the biology of exceptionally long-lived animals will contribute to better understanding of ageing processes and novel interventions to extend lifespan also in humans.