The Ratio of Macronutrients, Not Caloric Intake, Dictates Cardiometabolic Health, Aging, and Longevity in Ad Libitum-Fed Mice

Cell Metab. 2014 Mar 4;19(3):418-30. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2014.02.009.

Abstract

The fundamental questions of what represents a macronutritionally balanced diet and how this maintains health and longevity remain unanswered. Here, the Geometric Framework, a state-space nutritional modeling method, was used to measure interactive effects of dietary energy, protein, fat, and carbohydrate on food intake, cardiometabolic phenotype, and longevity in mice fed one of 25 diets ad libitum. Food intake was regulated primarily by protein and carbohydrate content. Longevity and health were optimized when protein was replaced with carbohydrate to limit compensatory feeding for protein and suppress protein intake. These consequences are associated with hepatic mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) activation and mitochondrial function and, in turn, related to circulating branched-chain amino acids and glucose. Calorie restriction achieved by high-protein diets or dietary dilution had no beneficial effects on lifespan. The results suggest that longevity can be extended in ad libitum-fed animals by manipulating the ratio of macronutrients to inhibit mTOR activation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging*
  • Amino Acids, Branched-Chain / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Body Composition / drug effects
  • Cardiovascular Physiological Phenomena / drug effects
  • Diet*
  • Energy Intake / drug effects
  • Glucose / pharmacology
  • Glucose Intolerance
  • Insulin / blood
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Leptin / blood
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Longevity* / drug effects
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Phosphorylation
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism

Substances

  • Amino Acids, Branched-Chain
  • Insulin
  • Leptin
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Glucose