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July 17, 2013

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Study claims restricted diet prolongs lifespan

LOCAL scientists have found evidence that a restricted diet can prolong a person's lifespan after experiments carried out on mice showed caloric restriction can promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut and reduce the bacteria that harm the health.

Zhao Liping, the chief researcher from Jiao Tong University, said the study confirmed the positive effects of diets among humans and proved that bacteria in the gut is the one that determines the health and lifespan.

The discovery was published by Nature Communications yesterday.

Zhao's team put mice on life-long calorie-restricted diet and checked structural changes in their gut microorganism, which is recognized for its role in health and disease and its composition is shaped mainly by diet.

The team found specific bacteria, such as the genus lactobacillus, correlated positively with lifespan and enriched by caloric restriction.

At the same time, the calorie-restricted diet reduced the abundance of bacteria that correlated negatively with lifespan.

Scientists also found reduced serum levels of lipopolysaccharide-binding protein - a marker often associated with inflammation.


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