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Calorie Restrictive Diet Benefits Explained


Senior Member

They found that the main reason why reduced calorie diets increased lifespan is via improving the function of the thymus gland.

"The first discovery came when the researchers examined MRI data focused on the thymus gland. The thymus produces immune T-cells and is known to age much more rapidly than other organs in the body. Age-related thymus dysfunction is one of the reasons immune responses in the elderly are weak.

Incredibly, the researchers found two years of calorie restriction seemed to increase the functional volume of the thymus gland compared to data gathered at the beginning of the trial. A reduction in fat around the gland was also detected, compared to little change in the control group with no dietary restriction. Dixit says this indicates the thymus was producing more T-cells after two years of calorie restriction than it was at the beginning of the trial.

Zooming in on gene expression changes in fat tissue, the researchers were most interested in one significant alteration. A gene that codes for a protein known as PLA2G7 was strongly inhibited in the cohort eating a calorie restricted diet for two years.

High circulating volumes of PLA2G7 have long been associated with metabolic and immune diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers. But it hasn’t been clear exactly how this protein may be contributing to chronic disease."

While this isn't ME-specific, I thought it was interesting, since ME does seem to involve immune system dysfunction. Do any PWME benefit from reduced-calorie diets? My ME started soon after I reduced my meal sizes (due to weight starting to increase significantly); might that have been part of my triggering ME? Did other people develop ME after a significant change in calorie intake? Something to think about.