Caloric restriction has been shown to increase life span in primates, dogs, rats, worms, fruit flies, and other animals. Although these animals live longer, caloric restriction also has profound effects such as inhibition of reproduction.
A new study at University College London further teased apart this effect. Fruit flies reproductive abilities were followed during caloric restriction. Scientists then added single nutrients back into the flies diet.
The scientists found the addition of vitamins and minerals had no effect on the fruit flies reproductive abilities. Adding essential amino acids to the diet returned reproduction to normal, but also shortened the flies lives. Interestingly, a single amino acid, methionine, could restart the flies reproductive abilities without reducing the flies lifespan. Other scientists have found that reducing methionine in normal diet could extend lifespan.
It is unknown if this same effect will be present in humans.
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