Macronutrients and caloric intake in health and longevity

J Endocrinol. 2015 Jul;226(1):R17-28. doi: 10.1530/JOE-15-0173. Epub 2015 May 28.


Both lifespan and healthspan are influenced by nutrition, with nutritional interventions proving to be robust across a wide range of species. However, the relationship between nutrition, health and aging is still not fully understood. Caloric restriction is the most studied dietary intervention known to extend life in many organisms, but recently the balance of macronutrients has been shown to play a critical role. In this review, we discuss the current understanding regarding the impact of calories and macronutrient balance in mammalian health and longevity, and highlight the key nutrient-sensing pathways that mediate the effects of nutrition on health and ageing.

Keywords: calories; health; lifespan; longevity; macronutrients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Aging / physiology
  • Animals
  • Caloric Restriction
  • Diet, Protein-Restricted
  • Energy Intake / physiology*
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors / metabolism
  • Food
  • Humans
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / metabolism
  • Longevity / physiology*
  • Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Sirtuin 1 / metabolism
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism


  • Insulin
  • fibroblast growth factor 21
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Sirtuin 1