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Less fat, more hair, younger skin


Vegetarian diets

* Study shows benefits from calorie-restricted diet

A research conducted by Brazilian scientists and published in Cell Reports shows that mice subjected to the diet presented body fat reduction and fur production increase.

Caloric restriction diets have been associated with various health benefits, but their effects on the skin have not been previously demonstrated. Research conducted at the University of São Paulo (USP) in Brazil shows that controlling calories helps mice live longer, although it reduces the reserves of fat in adipose tissue needed to keep the body warm.

To offset this effect of the diet, the skin of the mice stimulated fur growth and increased blood flow to warm the skin.


The authors also observed changes in cell metabolism. The mice displayed an adaptive response to remain warm – and alive – under conditions of limited food.

The research was conducted during Maria Fernanda Forni’s postdoctoral fellowship at USP’s Chemistry Institute with support from FAPESP and supervision by Alicia Kowaltowski. This research was part of the Thematic Project “Mitochondrial bioenergetics, ion transport, redox state and DNA metabolism” ( for which Kowaltowski was the principal investigator.

The results of the study were published in September in the journal Cell Reports. “The changes in fur and skin were highly perceptible,” Kowaltowski said. “These changes are interesting because they appeared after only a few months when the animals were not yet old.”

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