Low-Calorie Intake Beneficial to the Brains of Mice, Might Have Implications in Alzheimer’s

Low-Calorie Intake Beneficial to the Brains of Mice, Might Have Implications in Alzheimer’s
Low-calorie diets are a known benefit for the overall health of the body, but the exact mechanisms underlying this effect remain elusive. Now, a study published in the journal Aging Cell, has shown that low-calorie intake increases neurons’ capacity to neutralize excessive levels of calcium, which contribute to neuronal damage in several diseases, including Alzheimer's disease. The study, “Caloric Restriction Increases Brain Mitochondrial Calcium Retention Capacity And Protects Against Excitotoxicity” was conducted by a research group in Brazil. "More than promoting the advantages of eating frugally, we aim to understand the mechanisms that make not overconsuming calories better for health,” Ignacio Amigo, PhD, lead author of the study, said in a press release. “This can point to new targets for the development of drugs against various diseases." Calcium is one of the most powerful messengers within neurons and, for this reason, its concentration levels must remain highly regulated. When neurons communicate, certain groups of proteins are activated, such as the glutamate receptors. Neurons become activated by calcium entry through these receptors, which will initiate several molecular pathways important for neuronal function and survival. When communication is over, however, cells store calcium in certain compartments, such as the mitochondria (the cell’s powerhouse), thus allowing calcium levels to return to baseline, waiting for the next signal
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