Several studies have shown that eating less can lead to a prolonged life and that it keeps your brain younger, thereby reducing the likelihood of suffering diseases like Alzheimer. Now researchers at the Catholic University of Sacred Heart in Rome have discovered the molecular process that is activated when people diet. They hope this will lead to the development of a drug that mimics this process.
They found that dieting causes the body to activate a particle called CREB1, known to regulate memory and learning. This particle animates the sirtuins, another set of molecules believed to extend lifespan.
“Our hope is to find a way to activate CREB1, for example through new drugs, so to keep the brain young without the need of a strict diet,” says lead author Dr Giovambattista Pani, a researcher at the Institute of General Pathology at the Catholic University of Sacred Heart in Rome.
The findings are based on an experiment conducted on mice, which were fed with 70% of the food they normally have. Mice without the CREB1 particle showed the same brain problems as overfed mice, while the ones that were on a diet presented several brain benefits.
Source: ABC Science
Fusco, S., Ripoli, C., Podda, M., Ranieri, S., Leone, L., Toietta, G., McBurney, M., Schutz, G., Riccio, A., Grassi, C., Galeotti, T., & Pani, G. (2011). A role for neuronal cAMP responsive-element binding (CREB)-1 in brain responses to calorie restriction Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1109237109