Protein restriction; does it improve metabolic health at old age?

metabolism nutrition ageing

dr. J.W. Jonker
dr. J.K. Kruit
D.P.Y. Koonen
Prof. dr. F. Kuipers

Nature of the research:
Preclinical research to investigate the impact of a protein restriction diet on metabolic health in aged mice.

Fields of study:
pediatrics diabetes

Background / introduction
Life-long exposure to a protein restricted, high carbohydrate (LPHC) diet promotes metabolic health and longevity (Solon-Biet et al., Cell Metab., 2014). Mice in these experiments were, however, put on these diets throughout their life-span. Since the pathways involved in the beneficial effects of the LPHC diet are influenced by aging, it is important to know whether dietary intervention at a later age is still beneficial on metabolic parameters. This needs to be determined in order to translate the experimental evidence of the beneficial impact of LPHC diets on metabolic health to the human situation.
Research question / problem definition
What is the impact of dietary intervention in young and old mice on metabolic health and age-related phenotypes.
We are studying the metabolic health of young and old mice after a short-term dietary intervention varying in protein, carbohydrate and fat ratio. We are looking for motivated students to join our team. Several projects, ranging from analysis of metabolic parameters in several tissues to more mechanistic research into the molecular pathways involved, are available.
This is a joint effort of the laboratory of Pediatrics and the mouse clinic for cancer and aging (MCCA) at the UMCG.
Solon-Biet, S. M., McMahon, A. C., Ballard, J. W. O., Ruohonen, K., Wu, L. E., Cogger, V. C., et al. (2014). The ratio of macronutrients, not caloric intake, dictates cardiometabolic health, aging, and longevity in ad libitum-fed mice. Cell Metabolism, 19(3), 418–430.

Solon-Biet, S. M., Mitchell, S. J., Coogan, S. C. P., Cogger, V. C., Gokarn, R., McMahon, A. C., et al. (2015). Dietary Protein to Carbohydrate Ratio and Caloric Restriction: Comparing Metabolic Outcomes in Mice. Cell Reports, 11(10), 1529–1534.
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