Calorie restriction (CR) has been shown to extend life- and health-span in model species. For most humans, a life-long CR diet is too arduous to adhere to. The aim of this study was to explore whether weekly intermittent CR can (1) provide long-term beneficial effects and (2) counteract diet-induced obesity in male aging mice.Methods and results:
In this study, we have exposed C57Bl/6J mice for 24 months to an intermittent (INT) diet, alternating weekly between CR of a control diet and ad libitum moderate-fat (MF) feeding. This weekly intermittent CR significantly counteracted the adverse effects of the MF diet on mortality, body weight, and liver health markers in 24-month-old male mice. Hepatic gene expression profiles of INT-exposed animals appeared much more comparable to CR- than to MF-exposed mice. At 12 months of age, a subgroup of MF-exposed mice was transferred to the INT diet. Gene expression profiles in the liver of the 24-month-old diet switch mice were highly similar to the INT-exposed mice. However, a small subset of genes was consistently changed by the MF diet during the first phase of life.Conclusion:
Weekly intermittent CR largely, but not completely, reversed adverse effects caused by a MF diet.