A new study conducted by researchers from the University of Gothenburg discovered that the earlier that seniors begin restricting their caloric intake, the longer they will live. During their studies, they found an enzyme that may greatly affect the aging process.
"We are able to show that caloric restriction slows down ageing by preventing an enzyme, peroxiredoxin, from being inactivated. This enzyme is also extremely important in counteracting damage to our genetic material," said Mikael Molin of the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology at the university.
The researchers tested various types of animals including monkeys, rats and fish, to see if gradually reducing sugar and protein intake without limiting vitamins and minerals would extend their lives, which it did. Through this research, they discovered that caloric restriction works through the Prx1 enzyme, and when reducing calories, the Srx1 enzyme repairs the Prx1 and halts the aging process.
Molin concluded that the researchers are now going to look into whether adding Srx1 into cells will repair the Prx1 without changing the caloric intake. If this is possible, they may be able to discover that this delays the development of cancer. If so, older adults will be able to enjoy their retirement living communities and families for many more years.