The objective of this review is to summarize information about the role of apoptosis in mediating the effects of nutritional interventions which prolong life span, suppress autoimmune diseases, and decrease tumorigenesis. Nutritional interventions such as calorie restriction (CR) likely postpone the accumulation of damaging effects that accompany ad libitum (AL) food intake and aging. However, the beneficial effects of CR or other nutritional interventions may not be limited to progressive, slowly accumulating events, but may also include important effects during growth and development. An example of the latter would include modulation of the selection and editing processes occurring in the thymus during maturation of the immune system. Regulation of apoptosis may be particularly relevant to these developmental processes, though decreased apoptosis also plays a role in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases and age-related events such as tumorigenesis. Therefore, we will review the evidence that increased apoptosis mediates the effect of DR (and/or supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids), suppresses tumors, ameliorates autoimmune diseases, and prolongs life span.
- omega-3 fatty acids
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Nutrition and Dietetics