The role of hormesis in life extension by dietary restriction

Interdiscip Top Gerontol. 2007;35:1-17. doi: 10.1159/000096552.


The level of food restriction that results in life extension and retarded aging in rodents also enhances their ability to cope with intense stressors. Moreover, this level of dietary restriction (DR) leads to a modest increase in the daily peak concentration of plasma free corticosterone, which strongly points to DR as a low-intensity stressor. These findings suggest that hormesis plays a role in the life-extending and anti-aging actions of DR. The evidence for and against this possibility is considered, and it is concluded that hormesis does have an important role.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / physiology*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / metabolism*
  • Aging / physiology
  • Caloric Restriction*
  • Energy Intake / physiology
  • Free Radicals*
  • Humans
  • Life Expectancy*
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Stress, Psychological


  • Free Radicals