Summary 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.
Summary Cockayne syndrome (CS) is an accelerated aging disorder characterized by progressive neurodegeneration caused by mutations in the genes encoding the DNA repair proteins CSA or CSB. Csbm/m mice were given a high fat, caloric restricted or resveratrol supplemented diet. The high fat diet rescued the phenotype of Csbm/m mice at the metabolic, transcriptomic and behavioral levels. Additional analysis suggests that the premature aging seen in CS mice, nematodes and human cells results from aberrant PARP activation due to deficient DNA repair leading to decreased SIRT1 activity and mitochondrial dysfunction. Notably, β-hydroxybutyrate levels are increased by the high fat diet; and β-hydroxybutyrate, PARP inhibition, or NAD+ supplementation can activate SIRT1 and rescue CS-associated phenotypes. Mechanistically, CSB is able to displace activated PARP1 from damaged DNA to limit its activity. This study connects two emerging longevity metabolites, β-hydroxybutyrate and NAD+, through the deacetylase SIRT1 and suggests possible interventions for CS.
Elevated branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are associated with obesity and insulin resistance. How long-term dietary BCAAs impact late-life health and lifespan is unknown. Here, we show that when dietary BCAAs are varied against a fixed, isocaloric macronutrient background, long-term exposure to high BCAA diets leads to hyperphagia, obesity and reduced lifespan. These effects are not due to elevated BCAA per se or hepatic mammalian target of rapamycin activation, but instead are due to a shift in the relative quantity of dietary BCAAs and other amino acids, notably tryptophan and threonine. Increasing the ratio of BCAAs to these amino acids results in hyperphagia and is associated with central serotonin depletion. Preventing hyperphagia by calorie restriction or pair-feeding averts the health costs of a high-BCAA diet. Our data highlight a role for amino acid quality in energy balance and show that health costs of chronic high BCAA intakes need not be due to intrinsic toxicity but instead are a consequence of hyperphagia driven by amino acid imbalance.
While the liver demonstrates remarkable resilience during aging, there is growing evidence that it undergoes all the cellular hallmarks of aging, which increases the risk of liver and systemic disease. The aging process in the liver is driven by alterations of the genome and epigenome that contribute to dysregulation of mitochondrial function and nutrient sensing pathways, leading to cellular senescence and low-grade inflammation. These changes promote multiple phenotypic changes in all liver cells (hepatocytes, liver sinusoidal endothelial, hepatic stellate and Küpffer cells) and impairment of hepatic function. In particular, age-related changes in the liver sinusoidal endothelial cells are a significant but under-recognized risk factor for the development of age-related cardiometabolic disease.
Diet influences health and patterns of disease in populations. How different diets do this and why outcomes of diets vary between individuals are complex and involve interaction with the gut microbiome. A major challenge for predicting health outcomes of the host-microbiome dynamic is reconciling the effects of different aspects of diet (food composition or intake rate) on the system. Here we show that microbial community assembly is fundamentally shaped by a dichotomy in bacterial strategies to access nitrogen in the gut environment. Consequently, the pattern of dietary protein intake constrains the host-microbiome dynamic in ways that are common to a very broad range of diet manipulation strategies. These insights offer a mechanism for the impact of high protein intake on metabolic health and form the basis for a general theory of the impact of different diet strategies on host-microbiome outcomes.
Age-related impairment of drug metabolism by the liver is consistent with hepatocyte hypoxia, suggestive of the development of a diffusional barrier to oxygen supply. Because the effects of aging on the diffusional pathway (sinusoidal endothelium and space of Disse) have not been described, we performed comparative studies on the livers of Fischer F344 rats aged 4 to 7, 12 to 15, and 24 to 27 months. Lightmicroscopic examination revealed no evidence of fibrosis, cirrhosis, or other specific pathology. In contrast, scanning and transmission electron-microscopic examination revealed that aging is associated with pseudocapillarization of the sinusoidal endothelium, indicated by defenestration with reduced porosity, thickening of the endothelium, infrequent development of basal lamina, and only minor collagen deposits in the space of Disse. Furthermore, immunohistochemistry studies showed strong expression of collagen IV, moderate expression of factor VIII-related antigen, and weak expression of collagen I along the sinusoids of livers from old rats (P < .0001). In vitro 31 P magnetic resonance spectroscopy analysis showed that aging is associated with changes in high-energy phosphate and other metabolites, consistent with hepatocyte hypoxia. Aging in the liver is associated with changes in the sinusoidal endothelium and space of Disse that may restrict the availability of oxygen and other substrates. (HEPATOLOGY 2001;33:537-543.)The effect of aging in the liver is often considered to be of a lesser degree than in other organs.  The major recognized changes in the aging liver include reduction in liver mass and hepatic blood flow 1,4,5 ; however, it has been concluded that there are few other significant structural or biochemical changes in the liver. 1,2 On the other hand, even subtle agerelated changes may have profound consequences for the rest of the body. For example, any age-related impairment in hepatic drug and xenobiotic detoxification could partly explain the susceptibility of elderly persons to adverse drug reactions or illnesses with toxic etiology. 5 In vivo, the hepatic clearance of many drugs is reduced in elderly persons. Traditional theories have attempted to attribute this to age-related reduction of liver mass and blood flow. 6 However, in a recent review, 5 we noted that there appears to be selective reduction of the clearance of drugs that undergo phase I metabolism, associated with preservation of the clearance of drugs that undergo phase II metabolism. Even more puzzling, the in vitro activities of phase I enzymes are maintained into old age. 7 Because these paradoxes cannot be attributed to changes in blood flow and liver mass alone, we suggested an explanation based on oxygen supply, as the activities of phase I enzymes are highly oxygen-dependent because they require oxygen as a substrate. 8 We hypothesized the development of a barrier to oxygen diffusion, leading to functional intracellular hypoxia in the hepatocytes of the aging liver. This provides a plausible mechanism for i...
Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) is the first known endocrine signal activated by protein restriction. Although FGF21 is robustly elevated in low-protein environments, increased FGF21 is also seen in various other contexts such as fasting, overfeeding, ketogenic diets, and high-carbohydrate diets, leaving its nutritional context and physiological role unresolved and controversial. Here, we use the Geometric Framework, a nutritional modeling platform, to help reconcile these apparently conflicting findings in mice confined to one of 25 diets that varied in protein, carbohydrate, and fat content. We show that FGF21 was elevated under low protein intakes and maximally when low protein was coupled with high carbohydrate intakes. Our results explain how elevation of FGF21 occurs both under starvation and hyperphagia, and show that the metabolic outcomes associated with elevated FGF21 depend on the nutritional context, differing according to whether the animal is in a state of under- or overfeeding.
Summary Both caloric restriction (CR) and low protein, high carbohydrate (LPHC) ad libitum-fed diets increase lifespan and improve metabolic parameters such as insulin, glucose and blood lipids. Severe CR, however, is unsustainable for most people; therefore, it is important to determine whether manipulating macronutrient ratios in ad libitum-fed conditions can generate similar health outcomes. We present the results of a short-term (8 week) dietary manipulation on metabolic outcomes in mice. We compared three diets varying in protein to carbohydrate ratio under both CR and ad libitum conditions. Ad libitum LPHC diets delivered similar benefits to CR in terms of levels of insulin, glucose, lipids and HOMA, despite increased energy intake. CR on LPHC diets did not provide additional benefits relative to ad libitum LPHC. We show that LPHC diets under ad libitum-fed conditions generate the metabolic benefits of CR without a 40% reduction in total caloric intake.
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