How Does What We Eat Affect Our Healthspan and Longevity? It’s a Complex Dynamic System – Neuroscience News

Summary: The study sheds new light on how normal variations in dietary patterns affect human aging, longevity and overall health.

Font: Columbia 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 Center on Aging at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

While most analyzes have 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 full picture: the healthy diet it should be considered in terms of balancing nutrient pools, rather than optimizing a number of nutrients one at a time.

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

The findings are published online in the journal BMC Biology.

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

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

Cohen also notes that the results are also consistent with numerous studies highlighting the need for higher protein intake in older people, particularly to compensate for sarcopenia and decreased physical performance associated with aging.

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

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

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The researchers analyzed data from 1,560 older men and women, ages 67 to 84, randomly selected between November 2003 and June 2005 from the Montreal, Laval, or Sherbrooke areas of Quebec, Canada, who were reexamined annually for 3 years and four years in a row 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 by integrating blood biomarkers. Diet effects used the geometric framework for nutrition, applied to macronutrients and 19 micronutrient/nutrient subclasses.

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

Four general patterns were observed:

  • The optimal level of nutrient intake depended on the aging metric used. High protein intake improved/depressed some aging parameters, while high carbohydrate levels improved/depressed others;
  • There were cases where intermediate nutrient levels worked well for many outcomes (ie, arguing against a simple more/less perspective is better);
  • There is a wide tolerance for patterns of nutrient intake that do not deviate too much from the norms (“homeostatic plateaus”).
  • Optimal levels of one nutrient often depend on the levels of another (for example, vitamin E and vitamin C). The simplest 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 ageing.

Using multidimensional modeling techniques to test the effects of nutrient intake on physiological dysregulation in older adults, the researchers identified key nutrient-specific patterns associated with minimal biological aging. The image is in the public domain

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

“These results are not experimental and should be validated in other contexts. Specific findings, such as the prominence of the combination of vitamin E and vitamin C, may not be reproduced in other studies.

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“But the qualitative finding 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 much previous work,” Cohen said. .

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Coauthors 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; l’Institut Universitaire de Gériatrie de Montréal, Montreal, Canada, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Canada; Pierrette Gaudreau, University of Montreal, Montreal, Canada; David G. Le Couteur, University of Sydney and the Institute of Aging and Alzheimer’s and the ANZAC Research Institute, Concord Hospital, New South Wales, Australia.

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

About this diet and aging research news

Author: Stephanie Berger
Font: Columbia University
Contact: Stephanie Berger – Columbia University
Image: The image is in the public domain.

original research: Open 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 dietary patterns in humans affects the aging process. To date, most analyzes of the problem have used a one-dimensional paradigm, concerned with 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 both nutrition and the physiology of aging are highly complex and multidimensional, involving a large number of functional interactions. Here we apply the multidimensional geometric framework for nutrition to biological aging data from 1,560 older adults followed for four years to assess on a large scale how nutrient intake is associated with the aging process.

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Results

Aging and age-related loss of homeostasis (physiological dysregulation) were quantified by integrating blood biomarkers. Diet effects were modeled using the geometric framework for nutrition, applied to macronutrients and 19 micronutrient/nutrient subclasses. We observed four general patterns: (1) The optimal level of nutrient intake depended on the aging metric used. High protein intake improved/depressed some aging parameters, while high carbohydrate levels improved/depressed others; (2) There were nonlinearities where intermediate nutrient levels worked well for many outcomes (ie, arguing against a simple more/less perspective is better); (3) There is a broad tolerance for nutrient intake patterns that do not deviate too much from the norms (“homeostatic plateaus”). (4) Optimal levels of one nutrient often depend on levels of another (eg, vitamin E and vitamin C). The simplest linear/univariate analytic 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 elderly population, we identified key nutrient-specific patterns 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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