Fontana's research focuses on the role of diet and exercise in preventing age-associated chronic disease such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and in promoting healthy successful aging. He is an internationally recognized scientist, author and expert in the fields of nutrition and healthy aging. Fontana graduated with highest honors from the Verona University Medical School, where he completed his internship and residency in internal medicine. He also received a Ph.D. in metabolism from the University of Padua Medical School.
Seeking the Fountain of Youth: Is Dietary Restriction the Key to a Longer and Healthier Life?
Life expectancy in the world has increased dramatically during the last century; the number of older adults is expected to rise while the number of youth will decline in the next future. This demographic shift has considerable public health and economic implications since aging is associated with the development of serious chronic diseases. Dietary restriction (DR) is the most effective nutritional intervention for slowing aging and preventing chronic disease in rodents. Similar effects are seen when the activity of nutrient-sensing pathways is reduced by mutations or chemical inhibitors. DR also increases lifespan and protects against diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease in rhesus monkeys, and in humans it causes metabolic and molecular changes that protect against these age-related diseases.