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How does what we eat affect our health and longevity? It’s a complex dynamic system – Neuroscience News

Summary: A study sheds new light on how normal variations in eating habits affect human aging, longevity and overall health.

Source: Colombia University

The answer to a relatively concise question — how what we eat affects how we age — is inevitably complex, according to a new study from the Butler Columbia Aging Center at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.

While most analyzes focused on the effects of a single nutrient on a single outcome, a conventional, one-dimensional approach to understanding the effects of diet on health and aging no longer gives us the complete picture: healthy eating should be considered in terms of balancing sets of nutrients, rather than optimizing a set of nutrients one at a time.

Until now, little was known about how normal variation in human dietary habits affects the aging process.

The results are published online in the journal BMC Biology.

“Our ability to understand the problem has been complicated by the fact that nutrition and the physiology of aging are very complex and multidimensional, involving a high number of functional interactions,” said Alan Cohen, PhD, associate professor of life sciences. environmental health at Columbia. Postal school.

“This study therefore provides further support for the importance of looking beyond ‘one nutrient at a time’ as the single answer to the age-old question of how to live a long and healthy life.”

Cohen also points out that the results are also consistent with numerous studies highlighting the need for increased protein intake in older adults, particularly to offset sarcopenia and decreased physical performance associated with aging.

Using multidimensional modeling techniques to test the effects of nutrient intake on physiological dysregulation in the elderly, researchers have identified key patterns of specific nutrients associated with minimal biological aging.

“Our approach presents a roadmap for future studies to explore the full complexity of the nutritional aging landscape,” observed Cohen, who is also affiliated with the Butler Columbia Aging Center.

The researchers analyzed data from 1,560 older men and women, ages 67 to 84, randomly selected between November 2003 and June 2005 in the Montreal, Laval, or Sherbrooke areas of Quebec, Canada, who were re-screened annually for 3-year and four-year follow-ups to assess on a large scale how nutrient intake is associated with the aging process.

Aging and age-related loss of homeostasis (physiological dysregulation) were quantified through the integration of blood biomarkers. Diet effects used the Geometric Nutrition Framework, applied to macronutrients and 19 micronutrients/nutrient subclasses.

The researchers fitted a series of eight models exploring different nutritional predictors and adjusted for income, education level, age, physical activity, number of comorbidities, gender and current smoking status.

Four major trends were observed:

  • The optimal level of nutrient intake depended on the measure of aging used. High protein intake improved/decreased some aging parameters, while high carbohydrate levels improved/decreased others;
  • There have been cases where intermediate nutrient levels have performed well for many outcomes (i.e. arguing against a simple more/less is better perspective);
  • There is a wide tolerance for nutrient intake patterns that do not deviate too much from the norm (“homeostatic plateaus”).
  • Optimal levels of one nutrient often depend on levels of another (eg vitamin E and vitamin C). Simpler analytical approaches are insufficient to capture such associations.

The research team also developed an interactive tool to allow users to explore how different combinations of micronutrients affect different aspects of aging.

Using multidimensional modeling techniques to test the effects of nutrient intake on physiological dysregulation in the elderly, researchers have identified key patterns of specific nutrients associated with minimal biological aging. Image is in public domain

The results of this study are consistent with previous experimental work in mice showing that high-protein diets can accelerate aging earlier in life, but are beneficial at older ages.

“These results are not experimental and will need to be validated in other contexts. Specific findings, such as the importance of the combination of vitamin E and vitamin C, may not be replicated in other studies.

“But the qualitative conclusion that there are no simple answers to optimal nutrition is likely to hold: it was evident in almost all of our analyses, from a wide variety of approaches, and is consistent with evolutionary principles and a lot of previous work,” Cohen said. .

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Co-authors are Alistair M. Senior, David Raubenheimer, and Stephen J. Simpson, University of Sydney; Véronique Legault and Francis B. Lavoie, University of Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada; Nancy Presse and Valérie Turcot, CIUSSS-de-l’Estrie-CHUS, Sherbrooke, Canada; the University Institute of Geriatrics of Montreal, Montreal, Canada, University of Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Canada; Pierrette Gaudreau, University of Montreal, Montreal, Canada; David G. Le Couteur, University of Sydney and Aging and Alzheimers Institute and ANZAC Research Institute, Concord Hospital, New South Wales, Australia.

Funding: The study was funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC DECRA: DE180101520), grants 153011 and 62842 from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR); as well as grants from the Quebec Research Fund (FRQ) grant #2020-VICO-279753, Quebec Network for Research on Aging.

About this diet and aging research news

Author: Stephanie Berger
Source: Colombia University
Contact: Stephanie Berger – Columbia University
Image: Image is in public domain

Original research: Free access.
“Multidimensional associations between nutrient intake and healthy aging in humans” by Alan Cohen et al. BMC Biology


Summary

Multidimensional associations between nutrient intake and healthy aging in humans

Background

Little is known about how normal variation in human dietary habits affects the aging process. To date, most analyzes of the problem have used a one-dimensional paradigm, focusing on the effects of a single nutrient on a single outcome. Perhaps then, our ability to understand the problem has been complicated by the fact that nutrition and the physiology of aging are very complex and multidimensional, involving a large number of functional interactions. Here, we apply the Multidimensional Geometric Nutrition Framework to biological aging data from 1560 older adults followed over four years to assess on a large scale how nutrient intake is associated with the aging process.

Results

Aging and age-related loss of homeostasis (physiological dysregulation) were quantified through the integration of blood biomarkers. The effects of diet were modeled using the Geometric Nutrition Framework, applied to macronutrients and 19 micronutrients/nutrient subclasses. We observed four major trends: (1) The optimal level of nutrient intake depended on the aging metric used. High protein intake improved/decreased some aging parameters, while high carbohydrate levels improved/decreased others; (2) There were non-linearities where intermediate nutrient levels performed well for many outcomes (i.e. arguing against a simple more/less is better perspective); (3) There is a wide tolerance for nutrient intake patterns that do not deviate too much from the norm (“homeostatic plateaus”). (4) Optimal levels of one nutrient often depend on levels of another (eg vitamin E and vitamin C). Simpler linear/univariate analytical approaches are insufficient to capture such associations. We present an interactive tool to explore the results in the high-dimensional nutritional space.

Conclusion

Using multidimensional modeling techniques to test the effects of nutrient intake on physiological dysregulation in an aged population, we identified key patterns of specific nutrients associated with minimal biological aging. Our approach presents a roadmap for future studies to explore the full complexity of the nutrition-aging landscape.

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