What is a sirtuin and how is it linked with calorie restriction?
Sirtuins are a group of genes that are involved in the regulation of the lifespans of organisms. These are housekeeping genes. In other words, they are responsible for the repair and maintenance of cells.
In mammals, they are 7 of them: SIRT1-7. They regulate cellular energy, cell death, aging, inflammation, etc.
Early research demonstrated that calorie restriction (restricting intake by 60-70% of the regular calorie intake) extended the life of rodents. Similar findings were reported in a number of species including primates.
One of the most important findings in these studies was the association between increased sirtuins and extension of lifespan due to calorie restriction. Therefore the activation of sirtuins is associated with longevity and thought to be a secret to the ‘fountain of youth’.
SIRT1 is also known as the ‘skinny gene’ as it regulates fat storage and metabolism.
Scientists then started looking for dietary elements that could activate sirtuin. That is how Sirtfoods were identified. It is felt that these foods mimic the activity of fasting, calorie restriction, and exercise and thus can speed up weight loss and promote health.