According to the researchers, eating less activates CREB1, a protein molecule, which in-turn activates the genes that improve the functioning of brain, and promote longevity.
The study was lead by Dr. Giovambattista Pani, a researcher at Institute of General Pathology in Rome.
To reach the findings, researchers conducted a study on mice.
“Our hope is to find a way to activate CREB1, for example through new drugs, so to keep the brain young without the need of a strict diet,” stated Pani.
The study involved reducing mice's food intake. Researchers found that the mice who were on diet displayed better brain functioning.
The reason was that the action of CREB1 was increased by reducing food intake.
However, in case of mice that were “were genetically altered to lack CREB1,” the low calorie diet did not offer any benefits.
CREB1, which is activated by restricting calorie intake, is known to regulate brain functions like memory and learning.
Further, CREB1's activity is reduced with ageing.
Thrilled from the study results, Dr. Pani said, “This discovery has important implications to develop future therapies to keep our brain young and prevent brain degeneration and the ageing process.”
“Our hope is to find a way to activate CREB1, for example through new drugs, so to keep the brain young without the need of a strict diet,” he added.
Research work was published in US journal 'Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.'