Nutrition and Aging

  • Vernon R. Young
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 97)


Among the most significant of the factors modifying the life-span of organisms is the nutritional component of the environment. The adequacy of the level and balance of intake of essential nutrients provided by the maternal diet affects the growth and development of the fetus (1). Furthermore, throughout post-natal life the health and well-being of the offspring depends upon the nature of the diet consumed earlier in life as well as the current dietary intake. Thus, nutrition is an important key to a healthy, long life and it seems obvious that adequate nutrition throughout the life-span would be an effective way of minimizing the development of degenerative changes in body and organ function that characterize progressive aging. However, a precise or quantitative definition of adequate nutrition cannot be given, at least in terms of longevity, with our present state of knowledge. Nevertheless, there is now abundant information to indicate that diet can exert a dramatic influence on the life-span of the mammalian organism and on the type and severity of age-associated diseases. Thus, we will consider here some of the dietary variables that appear to be important in this context.


Protein Intake Dietary Protein Dietary Restriction Dietary Variable Carbohydrate Intake 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York  1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vernon R. Young
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Nutrition and Food ScienceMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA

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