Wouldn’t it be great if your muscles could somehow heal themselves more effectively? Maintaining muscle strength is a goal for most CR travelers. And many, who limit calories successfully, are pleasantly surprised that their muscle strength seems to grow with just moderate exercise.
This is counter intuitive to what we’ve been traditionally taught: eat a lot of protein and plenty of calories and grow big and strong. But have you ever noticed how long that lasts? The average professional football player, for example, lives to age 58.
As it turns out, calorie restriction makes muscle repair by adult stem cells more effective. Some may remember that earlier we declared that calorie restriction, the CR Way is a “stem cell” diet. Now, a November 2012 study, confirms that and relates calorie restriction directly to effective muscle healing. Here is the principal investigator discussing her findings:
Cell Stem Cell. 2012 May 4;10(5):515-9. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2012.04.002.
Cerletti M, Jang YC, Finley LW, Haigis MC, Wagers AJ.
Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, Harvard University, Harvard Stem Cell Institute, 7 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.
Calorie restriction (CR) extends life span and ameliorates age-related pathologies in most species studied, yet the mechanisms underlying these effects remain unclear. Using mouse skeletal muscle as a model, we show that CR acts in part by enhancing the function of tissue-specific stem cells. Even short-term CR significantly enhanced stem cell availability and activity in the muscle of young and old animals, in concert with an increase in mitochondrial abundance and induction of conserved metabolic and longevity regulators. Moreover, CR enhanced endogenous muscle repair and CR initiated in either donor or recipient animals improved the contribution of donor cells to regenerating muscle after transplant. These studies indicate that metabolic factors play a critical role in regulating stem cell function and that this regulation can influence the efficacy of recovery from injury and the engraftment of transplanted cells.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.