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  1. I posted about this a while back on the (now defunct) CR email list, but I thought it interesting enough to bring up here, especially since the forum enables the inclusion of a very nice graphic illustration (see below)... CR (and exercise) are thought to serve as stressors which actively upregulate endogenous repair and defensive mechanisms that improve health and longevity in insects and animals. But plants have also had billions of years to evolve similar endogenous mechanisms to protect themselves from environmental stresses like drought, famine, insects, diseases, etc. The idea of xenohormesis is that phytochemicals are the signalling mechanisms of these stress responses in plants, and they are healthy for us because we share many of the same biochemical pathways with plants. The way Dr. Greger puts it in this video, rather than endure the hardship (sic?!) of calorie restriction ourselves to upregulate our defenses, why not torture plants, then eat them to gain the benefits of CR via the CR memetics they produce in response to the stress. What I thought was most interesting in the video was this figure (click to enlarge): which shows how specific, well-known plant phytonutrients (Curcumin in turmeric/curry powder, Resveratrol in red wine and ECGC in green tea), influence the same pathways that are modulated by calorie restriction (i.e. "low energy" in the diagram), and therefore may serve as (partial) CR mimetics. For more discussion on the topic, see this thread from the old mailing list. --Dean
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