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Food and age: It takes two to degenerate
Explain the connection between food and aging.
The sobering statistics of one in three elderly people suffering from a type of age-related dementia call to devise a multi-pronged approach to targeting age-related neurodegenerative diseases. Synthesis of the current data indicates that not only age but also dietary lifestyles that changed dramatically during the twentieth century are at play. An expanding body of literature correlates dietary interventions with longevity. Indeed, many factors that are at play during aging have a role in promoting neurodegeneration, such as oxidative stress, accumulation of DNA damage, cell senescence, neuro-inflammation, and decreased autophagic flux. Furthermore, most of these factors have both intrinsic and extrinsic drivers behind them. For example, aging, characterized by impaired sleep patterns (Mander et al., 2017), has been shown to mediate impaired DNA repair (Zada et al., 2019). Aging is also characterized by elevated levels of neuroinflammation that are transcriptionally regulated (Baruch et al., 2013). Autophagy, however, is a cellular pathway that throughout life is predominantly regulated extrinsically in a nutrient-consumption mediated manner. This places food consumption as a major factor, along with aging itself, in promoting neurodegenerative disorders. As one of the main aims of dietary regimes, such as intermittent fasting, is to inhibit mTOR and promote autophagy, it is yet unknown what the optimal timing is for this intervention in relation to the circadian rhythm. Furthermore, it is plausible that future research into mTOR inhibition by Rapamycin analogs, for example, can efficiently replace dietary interventions.
Nicola R, Okun E.