Dietary restriction is the only environmental manipulation that can bring robust extension of lifespan in a variety of model organisms, and is one of the most important themes in aging studies. Despite a great deal of effort, the precise mechanisms by which it works are not clear. Exploration of its mechanism has also been attempted in Drosophila, and though the picture is incomplete, progress is being made.
Using demographic analyses, it has been shown that dietary restriction extends lifespan in flies by altering baseline mortality rate without altering the rate of aging (Mair et al., 2003). (Figure 22.1).
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