Imposing some restrictions on the daily intake of food may help you live longer, latest research from Australia shows.
Dr Margo Adler from the University of New South Wale (UNSW), based her theory on the experiments she conducted on laboratory animals.
Results showed that consuming a diet low in nutrients protect against many age-related diseases including cancer. Apart from that, dietary restriction also improved cellular recycling, repaired mechanisms involved in the function of the body, and thus lowered deterioration and cancer risk.
These processes involved in diet restriction may be one of the many reasons that help animals to reproduce and survive during food scarcity - animal cells recycle the nutrients already stored and reuse them, Dr Adler explained.
These findings are expected to improve the quality of ageing in human beings.
"This is the most intriguing aspect, from a human health stand point," lead author of the study, Dr Adler, an evolutionary biologist at the University, said in a news release.
"Although extended lifespan may simply be a side effect of dietary restriction, a better understanding of these cellular recycling mechanisms that drive the effect may hold the promise of longer, healthier lives for humans."
Dr Adler, who worked along with another UNSW scientist Russell Bonduriansky, expected that their findings would someday lead to the development of drugs that mimic the cellular recycling mechanism.
Findings of the study have been published in the journal BioEssays.
Role of dietary restriction on ageing is a topic well-explored in the past. A 1986 study from the University of California in the US showed that imposing appropriate restriction on diet improved life span in rodents.
In another study released in 2008, a team of researchers from the University of Washington unveiled the secrets of dietary restriction that helped to slow down ageing process. Brian Kennedy and colleagues conducted experiments on yeast cells with lowered protein production and found that mutations to the living cells' protein-making factory called ribosome helped to improve life span.