caloric restriction in primates

Doug Skrecky (
Sun, 24 May 1998 09:06:10 -0700 (PDT)

Verdery RB. Ingram DK. Roth GS. Lane MA.
Arizona Center on Aging, Tucson 85719, USA.
Caloric restriction increases HDL2 levels
in rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta).
American Journal of Physiology. 273(4 Pt 1):E714-9, 1997 Oct.
Caloric restriction (CR) prolongs the life
of rodents and other small animals, but the benefits of CR for primates and
people are as yet unknown, and mechanisms by which CR may slow
aging remain unidentified. A study of rhesus monkeys, Macaca
mulatta, is underway to determine if CR might prolong life span in primates
and to evaluate potential mechanisms for life prolongation. Thirty rhesus
monkeys in three age cohorts, restricted to 70% of ad libitum calorie intake
for 6-7 yr, were compared with 30 controls. Plasma lipid, lipoprotein, and
high-density lipoprotein (HDL) apolipoproteins and subfractions were measured
and compared with weight, percent fat, glucose, and insulin level. CR caused
decreased triglyceride levels in adult monkeys and increased levels of HDL2b,
the HDL subfraction associated with protection from atherosclerosis.
Multivariate statistical analyses showed that differences in lipid and
lipoprotein levels occurring with CR could be accounted for, at least in
part, by decreased body mass and improved glucose regulation. These studies
have used a novel dietary modification paradigm in nonhuman primates focused
on calorie reduction. Results suggest that CR, as mediated by its beneficial
effect on body composition and glucose metabolism, could prolong human life
by decreasing the incidence of atherosclerosis.