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Special Issue "Nutrition, Diet and Longevity"

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 November 2019.

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. José L. Quiles

Department of Physiology, Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology “Jose Mataix”, Biomedical Research Center, University of Granada, Avda. Conocimiento s/n, 18100 Armilla, Granada, Spain
Website | E-Mail
Guest Editor
Dr. Alfonso Varela-López

Dipartimento di Scienze Cliniche Specialistiche ed Odontostomatologiche (DISCO)-Sez. Biochimica, Facoltà di Medicina, Università Politecnica delle Marche, 60131 Ancona, Italy
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Aging is a complex biological process involving the progressive breakdown of cellular homeostatic mechanisms and buildup of molecular damage affecting molecular, cellular, tissue, organ, system, organism, and even psychological levels of animals, which causes disease progress and a gradual decline in physical and mental function and increases death probability. Traditionally, aging has been considered to be “natural” and therefore inevitable. However, many modern evolutionary theories of aging suggest that it is a byproduct of evolutionary processes and does not have a specific function. This would imply that aging is susceptible to manipulation, similarly to other processes, such as pathologies. In fact, life expectancy has dramatically increased in the last century, although this process has not been always accompanied by an equivalent increase in healthy life expectancy. At population level, this implies a reduction in the number of deaths at young and middle age, but also that elderly persons live more years. However, extending longevity without decreasing the risk of age-associated pathologies would not be desirable. In fact, lifespan extension research has traditionally raised concerns that it may lead to an increase in the size of the elderly population and, consequently, a higher prevalence of aging-associated chronic pathologies and disability. For this reason, the primary strategy in gerontology and geriatric research has been to reduce morbidity to a shorter as possible period closer to the “natural” death. Thus, many scientific studies have tried to delay the age of onset of major age-related chronic diseases. In other words, research has been more focused on extending “healthspan” rather than lifespan. With this background, an ideal geroprotector should not only extend to lifespan extension, but also healthspan, since this last is a critical component to achieving optimal longevity that has been defined as “living long, but with good health and quality of life, including improved functioning, productivity and independence”.

Earlier increases in life expectancy during the last century occurred after the implementation of vaccination, disinfectants, and antibiotics, which led to a substantial reduction of infectious diseases as a cause of death. In contrast, more recent declines in mortality among the elderly have been commonly attributed to preventative factors, such as improved diets, as well as a reduction in smoking and exercise. This is particularly interesting, since numerous experimental studies in animals have shown that the extension of lifespan by modifying such factors is usually accompanied by delayed or reduced morbidity, including cardiovascular disease, neurodegeneration, and tumors.

In the dietary context, some foods would be able to supply a significant amount of compounds to the human diet, including non-nutrients which are thought to contribute to healthy aging, increasing healthspan and probably lifespan. The term “geroprotectors” was coined to describe these molecules by gerontologist Ilya Mechnikov, whose initial definition had as a primary criterion the ability to increase the lifespan of model organisms. More recently, it has been proposed that geroprotectors should not only prolong lifespan extension, but also healthspan. In addition, the term can be extended to any intervention, including modifications of the diet energy and/or macronutrient balance. Geroprotective interventions would positively influence health by slowing basic biological processes of aging, such as cellular senescence, mitochondrial dysfunction, age-related decline of stress resistance, dysregulated cellular energy sensing/growth pathways, impaired proteostasis, deteriorated stem cell function/bioavailability, as well as inflammation/oxidative stress. Extending life by delaying the aging process per se may prove to be the most efficient way to combat multiple chronic and disabling diseases currently present in elderly adults, since this strategy would delay or prevent all age-associated pathologies rather than overcome them individually, which is the current approach of the disease-based paradigm of drug development. Importantly, some interventions which are effective against aging-associated pathologies in humans could also act as geroprotectors. Therefore, preventive therapies which increase lifespan by slowing the aging process have become a high priority science challenge for disease prevention.

As many pathways determining aging and longevity are highly conserved across species, many life-extending interventions have been carried out in animals which are expected to be effective for humans. Notwithstanding, there are still no geroprotectors on the market, despite the fact that geroprotector discovery is a popular biomedicine trend. This Special Issue of Nutrients, entitled “Nutrition, Diet, and Longevity" welcomes the submission of manuscripts describing either original research (clinical trials, epidemiological studies, and experiments conducted in animal models) or systematic reviews and meta-analyses that examine the potential effect of diets or particular compounds present in foods on healthspan or lifespan. Potential topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Influences of the diet on human lifespan and healthspan;
  • Influences of the diet on human aging rate and aging mechanisms;
  • Experimental studies on dietary interventions or natural products or compounds from foods with effects on lifespan, healthspan, or aging mechanisms;
  • Experimental studies on diet quantitative and/or qualitative modifications with effects on lifespan, healthspan, or aging mechanisms;
  • Experimental studies on dietary interventions and health outcomes in older age in both animals and humans;
  • Experimental studies on dietary interventions and health outcomes in older age in both animals and humans;
  • Nutrition and healthy aging;
  • Systematic reviews and meta-analyses of interventions to increase lifespan and healthspan;
  • Systematic reviews and meta-analyses of studies of nutrition and health outcomes in older age.

Prof. José L. Quiles
Dr. Alfonso Varela-López
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Nutrients is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Ageing/aging
  • Physical function
  • Cognitive function
  • Longevity
  • Lifespan
  • Geroprotector
  • Dietary macronutrient composition and energy balance
  • Nutrition
  • Diet
  • Ageing/aging rate
  • Natural product
  • Food supplement
  • Phytonutrients
  • Geroscience
  • Gerontology
  • “Antiaging medicine”
  • Biogerontology

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
Nutrients EISSN 2072-6643 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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