Dietary Restrictions and Nutrition in the Prevention and Treatment of Cardiovascular Disease

Brandhorst and Longo, Circ Res. 2019 Mar 15;124(6):952-965

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in many developed countries and remains one of the major diseases strongly affected by the diet. Nutrition can affect CVD directly by contributing to the accumulation of vascular plaques and also indirectly by regulating the rate of aging.

This review summarizes research on nutrition and CVD incidence based on a multipillar system that includes basic research focused on aging, epidemiological studies, clinical studies, and studies of centenarians. The relevant research linking nutrition and CVD with focus on macronutrients and aging will be highlighted.

We will review some of the most relevant studies on nutrition and CVD treatment, also focusing on interventions known to delay aging. We will discuss both everyday dietary compositions, as well as intermittent and periodic fasting interventions with the potential to prevent and treat CVD.

Fasting-Mimicking Diet Modulates Microbiota and Promotes Intestinal Regeneration to Reduce Inflammatory Bowel Disease Pathology

Priya Rangan, Inyoung Choi, Min Wei, Valter D. Longo, 2019, Cell Reports 26, 2704–2719

Rangan et al. show that cycles of a fasting-mimicking diet (FMD) ameliorate intestinal inflammation, promote intestinal regeneration, and stimulate the growth of protective gut microbial populations in a mouse model displaying symptoms and pathology associated with IBD. They also show that a similar FMD is safe, feasible, and effective in reducing systemic inflammation and the consequent high levels of immune cells in humans.

Programmed longevity, youthspan, and juventology

Valter Longo

The identification of conserved genes and pathways that regulate lifespan but also healthspan has resulted in an improved understanding of the link between nutrients, signal transduction proteins, and aging but has also provided evidence for the exis-
tence of multiple “longevity programs,” which are selected based on the availability of nutrients.

Periodic fasting and other dietary restrictions can promote entry into a long‐lasting longevity program characterized by cellular protection and optimal func-tion but can also activate regenerative processes that lead to rejuvenation, which are independent of the aging rate preceding the restricted period.

Thus, a “juventol-ogy”‐based strategy can complement the traditional gerontology approach by focus-ing not on aging but on the longevity program affecting the life history period in which mortality is very low and organisms remain youthful, healthy, and fully func-tional.