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Food restriction, evolution and ageing

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Thomas Kirkwood, Dr Daryl Shanley


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The food restriction model for life extension is nearing "three-score and 10" years of age and remains in good shape, preserving much of the mystique of its youth. Although originally described for laboratory rodents, recent work shows that food restriction also appears to slow ageing processes in a range of other animal species, raising the question of whether this response represents some generalised evolutionary adaptation, perhaps a strategy to cope with periods of famine. If the food restriction response does have an adaptive basis, this would suggest that specific gene regulatory processes have evolved to shape the organism's physiological response to food restriction. It will then be important to investigate how these are organised and whether the same or different factors are at play in the various species in which food restriction extends life span. © 2005 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Kirkwood TBL, Shanley DP

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Mechanisms of Ageing and Development

Year: 2005

Volume: 126

Issue: 9

Pages: 1011-1016

Print publication date: 01/09/2005

ISSN (print): 0047-6374

ISSN (electronic): 1872-6216

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.mad.2005.03.021

PubMed id: 15893805


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Funder referenceFunder name
BEP17042Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council