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Do anti-inflammatory drugs at night shorten life span?

For decades, calorie restriction has been known to extend life span in a variety of animals, including humans. (1-3) But the how of this life-extension effect has remained a matter of intense speculation. (4)


Emerging research suggests that calorie restriction may work, at least in part, by reducing body temperature. (5) Genetically altered mice that experience a cooler body temperature at night have been shown to live longer than their ordinary counterparts. (5) In humans, calorie restriction has also been shown to lower core body temperature. (3)

Furthermore, previous research has shown that taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drugs at night raises core body temperature, by inhibiting prostaglandin synthesis. Prostaglandins are involved in the production of the potent antioxidant "sleep hormone," melatonin, the regulation of body temperature, and the regulation of sleep. (6) Use of NSAIDs, particularly at night, may therefore be counter-productive for individuals hoping to optimize life span.


(1.) Holliday R. Food, reproduction and longevity: is the extended life span of calorie-restricted animals an evolutionary adaptation? Bioessays. 1989 Apr;10 (4):125-7.

(2.) Kirkwood TB, Shanley DP. Food restriction, evolution and ageing. Mech Ageing Dev. 2005 Sep;126(9):1011-6.

(3.) Everitt AV, Le Couteur DG. Life extension by calorie restriction in humans. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2007 Nov;1114:428-33.

(4.) Froy O, Miskin R. The interrelations among feeding, circadian rhythms and ageing. Prog Neurobiol. 2007 Jun;82(3):142-50. 5. Conti B, Sanchez-Alavez M, Winsky-Sommerer R, et al. Transgenic mice with a reduced core body temperature have an increased life span. Science. 2006 Nov 3;314(5800):825-8. 6. Murphy PJ, Myers BL, Badia P. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs alter body temperature and suppress melatonin in humans. Physiol Behav. 1996 Jan;59 (1):133-9.
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Title Annotation:IN THE NEWS
Author:Kiefer, Dale
Publication:Life Extension
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Apr 1, 2008
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