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Does early-life diet affect longevity? A meta-analysis across experimental studies

English, Sinead and Uller, Tobias LU (2016) In Biology Letters 12(9).
Abstract

Life-history theory predicts that nutrition influences lifespan owing to tradeoffs between allocating resources to reproduction, growth and repair. Despite occasional reports that early diet has strong effects on lifespan, it is unclear whether this prediction is generally supported by empirical studies. We conducted a meta-analysis across experimental studies manipulating pre- or post-natal diet and measuring longevity. We found no overall effect of early diet on lifespan. We used meta-regression, considering moderator variables based on experimental and life-history traits, to test predictions regarding the strength and direction of effects that could lead to positive or negative effects. Pre-natal diet manipulations reduced lifespan,... (More)

Life-history theory predicts that nutrition influences lifespan owing to tradeoffs between allocating resources to reproduction, growth and repair. Despite occasional reports that early diet has strong effects on lifespan, it is unclear whether this prediction is generally supported by empirical studies. We conducted a meta-analysis across experimental studies manipulating pre- or post-natal diet and measuring longevity. We found no overall effect of early diet on lifespan. We used meta-regression, considering moderator variables based on experimental and life-history traits, to test predictions regarding the strength and direction of effects that could lead to positive or negative effects. Pre-natal diet manipulations reduced lifespan, but there were no effects of later diet, manipulation type, development mode, or sex. The results are consistent with the prediction that early diet restriction disrupts growth and results in increased somatic damage, which incurs lifespan costs. Our findings raise a cautionary note, however, for placing too strong an emphasis on early diet effects on lifespan and highlight limitations of measuring these effects under laboratory conditions.

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Caloric restriction, Early development, Lifespan, Meta-analysis, Nutrition
in
Biology Letters
volume
12
issue
9
publisher
Royal Society
external identifiers
  • scopus:84994184651
  • wos:000386646700016
ISSN
1744-9561
DOI
10.1098/rsbl.2016.0291
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
39c29a3e-94bc-4cac-b0e8-79227bc9865f
date added to LUP
2016-12-12 15:26:44
date last changed
2017-04-23 04:56:05
@article{39c29a3e-94bc-4cac-b0e8-79227bc9865f,
  abstract     = {<p>Life-history theory predicts that nutrition influences lifespan owing to tradeoffs between allocating resources to reproduction, growth and repair. Despite occasional reports that early diet has strong effects on lifespan, it is unclear whether this prediction is generally supported by empirical studies. We conducted a meta-analysis across experimental studies manipulating pre- or post-natal diet and measuring longevity. We found no overall effect of early diet on lifespan. We used meta-regression, considering moderator variables based on experimental and life-history traits, to test predictions regarding the strength and direction of effects that could lead to positive or negative effects. Pre-natal diet manipulations reduced lifespan, but there were no effects of later diet, manipulation type, development mode, or sex. The results are consistent with the prediction that early diet restriction disrupts growth and results in increased somatic damage, which incurs lifespan costs. Our findings raise a cautionary note, however, for placing too strong an emphasis on early diet effects on lifespan and highlight limitations of measuring these effects under laboratory conditions.</p>},
  articleno    = {20160291},
  author       = {English, Sinead and Uller, Tobias},
  issn         = {1744-9561},
  keyword      = {Caloric restriction,Early development,Lifespan,Meta-analysis,Nutrition},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {09},
  number       = {9},
  publisher    = {Royal Society},
  series       = {Biology Letters},
  title        = {Does early-life diet affect longevity? A meta-analysis across experimental studies},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2016.0291},
  volume       = {12},
  year         = {2016},
}