Why eating less helps brain to stay young
Eating less activates a molecule for `brain longevity` and thus helps the brain stay young, a new study has revealed.
Many studies suggest that obesity is bad for our brain, slows it down, causes early brain aging, making it susceptible to diseases typical of older people as the Alzheimer`s and Parkinson`s. In contrast, caloric restriction keeps the brain young.
A team of Italian researchers at the Catholic University of Sacred Heart in Rome have discovered that this molecule, called CREB1, is triggered by `caloric restriction` (low caloric diet) in the brain of mice. They found that CREB1 activates many genes linked to longevity and to the proper functioning of the brain.
CREB1 mediates the beneficial effects of the diet on the brain by turning on another group of molecules linked to longevity, the `sirtuins`.
This finding is consistent with the fact that CREB1 is known to regulate important brain functions as memory, learning and anxiety control, and its activity is reduced or physiologically compromised by aging.
Moreover, Italian researchers have discovered that the action of CREB1 can be dramatically increased by simply reducing caloric intake, and have shown that CREB is absolutely essential to make caloric restriction work on the brain. In fact, if mice lack CREB1 the benefits of caloric restriction on the brain (improving memory, etc.) disappear.