Dietary restriction (DR) without malnutrition is associated with longevity in various organisms. However, it has also been shown that reduced calorie intake is often ineffective in extending life span. Selecting optimal dietary regimens for DR studies is complicated, as the same regimen may lead to different outcomes depending on genotype and environmental factors. Recent studies suggested that interventions such as moderate protein restriction with or without adequate nutrition (e.g., particular amino acids or carbohydrates) may have additional beneficial effects mediated by certain metabolic and hormonal factors implicated in the biology of aging, regardless of total calorie intake. In particular, it was shown that restriction of a single amino acid, methionine, can mimic the effects of DR and extend life span in various model organisms. We discuss the beneficial effects of a methionine-restricted diet, the molecular pathways involved, and the use of this regimen in longevity interventions.
Keywords: dietary restriction; life-span extension; methionine restriction; protein restriction.
© 2015 New York Academy of Sciences.