Caloric restriction remains the only nongenetic intervention that has been consistently and reproducibly shown to extend both average and maximal lifespan in a wide variety of species. If shown to be applicable to human aging, it is unlikely that most people would be able to maintain the 30-40% reduction in food intake apparently required for this intervention. Therefore, an alternative approach is needed. We first proposed the concept of caloric restriction (CR) mimetics in 1998. Since its introduction, this research area has witnessed a significant expansion of interest in academic, government, and private sectors. CR mimetics target alteration of pathways of energy metabolism to potentially mimic the beneficial health-promoting and anti-aging effects of CR without the need to reduce food intake significantly. To date, a number of candidate CR mimetics including glycolytic inhibitors, antioxidants and specific gene-modulators have been investigated and appear to validate the potential of this approach.
Key Words: Dietary restriction; aging; 2-deoxy-D-glucose; lifespan; metabolism.
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