A recent study published in 'Cell' reveals the key molecular mechanism which identifies that dietary restrictions or reduced food intake without malnutrition are beneficial for health. Dietary restriction can include overall reduction in food intake, decreased consumption of particular macronutrients like proteins, or intermittent bouts of fasting. It was known to have beneficial health effects including protection from tissue injury and improved metabolism.
The findings of the study shows that restricting two amino acids, methionine and cysteine, results in increased hydrogen sulfide (H2S) production and protection against ischemia reperfusion injury i.e. damage to tissue that occurs following the interruption of blood flow as during organ transplantation or stroke.
The increased H2S production upon dietary restriction was also associated with lifespan extension in worms, flies and yeast. However, the molecular explanations for these effects could not be completely understood.