Calorie Restriction Mimetics: Upstream-Type Compounds for Modulating Glucose Metabolism

Nutrients. 2018 Nov 22;10(12):1821. doi: 10.3390/nu10121821.


Calorie restriction (CR) can prolong the human lifespan, but enforcing long-term CR is difficult. Therefore, a compound that reproduces the effect of CR without CR is needed. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge on compounds with CR mimetic (CRM) effects. More than 10 compounds have been listed as CRMs, some of which are conventionally categorized as upstream-type CRMs showing glycolytic inhibition, while the others are categorized as downstream-type CRMs that regulate or genetically modulate intracellular signaling proteins. Among these, we focus on upstream-type CRMs and propose their classification as compounds with energy metabolism inhibition effects, particularly glucose metabolism modulation effects. The upstream-type CRMs reviewed include chitosan, acarbose, sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors, and hexose analogs such as 2-deoxy-d-glucose, d-glucosamine, and d-allulose, which show antiaging and longevity effects. Finally, we discuss the molecular definition of upstream-type CRMs.

Keywords: 2-deoxy-d-glucose; SGLT2 inhibitor; acarbose; antiaging; calorie restriction mimetics; chitosan; d-allulose; d-glucosamine; glucose metabolism modulation; lifespan extension.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acarbose / pharmacology*
  • Aging / drug effects*
  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Caloric Restriction
  • Chitosan / pharmacology*
  • Deoxyglucose / pharmacology
  • Glucosamine / pharmacology
  • Glycolysis / drug effects*
  • Hexoses / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Longevity / drug effects*
  • Sodium-Glucose Transporter 2 Inhibitors / pharmacology


  • Blood Glucose
  • Hexoses
  • Sodium-Glucose Transporter 2 Inhibitors
  • Chitosan
  • Deoxyglucose
  • Glucosamine
  • Acarbose