Expert teleconference on Calorie Restriction, Exercise, and Longevity

Many people are signing up to be CR Way members so they can take advantage of the teleconference series, which features health and longevity experts. Tonight’s Guest is Dr. Pankaj Kapahi, professor at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging. It will be held at 7:30 (ET).

Dr. Kapahi has had a significant  influence on CR Way recommendations  for calorie restriction.  He first came to our attention because of his outstanding work mTOR, an enzyme that is a driver of growth in the body and mediator of calorie restriction benefits. Extraordinary life extension has been achieved by knocking out the mTOR complex in genetically altered lab animals. Dr. Kapahi was the first to demonstrate that the TOR pathway mediates the effects of dietary restriction:

Regulation of lifespan in Drosophila by modulation of genes in the TOR signaling pathway.

Kapahi P, Zid BM, Harper T, Koslover D, Sapin V, Benzer S.

Division of Biology 156-29, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA.

Current Biology. 2004 May 25;14(10):885-90.

PMID: 15186745, NIH, NLM, PubMed access to MEDLINE

MTOR is well known for its role in cancer. In fact, Novartis has spent millions researching mTOR for cancer treatment. Here is how they introduce it:

  • mTOR is an intracellular protein downstream of several other targets in cancer
  • The mTOR pathway is frequently activated by mutations found in cancer
  • mTOR regulates cancer cell growth and bioenergetics
  • mTOR directs the supply of nutrients to cancer cells by regulating angiogenesis and nutrient uptake
  • mTOR inhibition is a promising new strategy for cancer


For treating advanced renal cancer, the mode of action for the Novartis drug, Afinitor, is to target mTOR.

IGF-I and mTOR work in synch. While it is not easy for local labs to test for mTOR activation, testing IGF-I levels is easy and provides important insights into how one’s calorie restriction regimen affects anabolic status and possibly the rate of aging.

Now Dr. Kapahi’s research  indicates that to get the longevity benefits of calorie restriction, exercise that promotes fatty acid breakdown in muscle is necessary. Thanks to this finding those who have been perplexed by the recent NIA monkey study have a likely answer as to why no longevity benefit was found for calorie restriction:  No provision for exercise was made for the animals. They were kept in small wire cages for their entire lives. Monkey study – A decade of calorie restriction research erased? 

The teleconferences for members of are held in a friendly town-meeting style. Dr. Kapahi will first make a ten- to fifteen-minute presentation, and then the floor will be open for questions and comments.

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