Friday, December 21, 2018

Ketone bodies mimic putative life-extending properties of caloric restriction

Many studies indicate that caloric restriction of 30-50% may extend lifespan in many species including yeast, nematodes, fruit flies, mice and primates.  There exists no generally accepted mechanistic explanation for this effect.  Proposed mechanisms have included growth retardation, decreased body fat levels, reduced inflammation, reduced oxidative damage, reduced body temperature, reduced insulin signaling, and increased autophagy and physical activity.

In their 2017 paper "Ketone bodies mimic the life span extending properties of caloric restriction"
Veech et al propose that ketosis is at least in part responsible for the life-extending effects of caloric restriction.  Caloric restriction produces increased ketone body concentrations in widely different species ranging from C. elegans, to Drosophila to man.
Moreover, a recent study showed that adding an exogenous ketone salt – Sodium DL-3-hydroxybutyric acid (βHB) – to the diet of C. elegans produced an extension of life span, with the result that the authors labeled this "an anti-aging ketone body."

Edwards et al showed that βHB administration did not extend lifespan in C. elegans under dietary restriction, whereas it did extend lifespan without dietary restriction, which indicates that "βHB likely acts as a dietary restriction mimetic." In other words, taking exogenous ketone salts produces the anti-aging effects of caloric restriction without caloric or even carbohydrate restriction.

This research suggests that probably a ketogenic diet (that is, consuming less than 50 g net carbohydrate daily) acts as a dietary restriction mimetic and will extend lifespan in humans, and it is likely that use of exogenous  βHB salts also will have anti-aging and therapeutic effects for aging associated disorders in humans even if they do not consume ketogenic diets.

From Edwards et al.

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