Purpose of Review

Non-invasive neuroimaging methods have been developed as powerful tools for identifying in vivo brain functions for studies in humans and animals. Here, we review the imaging biomarkers that are being used to determine the changes within brain metabolic and vascular functions induced by caloric restriction (CR) and their potential usefulness for future studies with dietary interventions in humans.

Recent Findings

CR causes an early shift in brain metabolism of glucose to ketone bodies and enhances ATP production, neuronal activity, and cerebral blood flow (CBF). With age, CR preserves mitochondrial activity, neurotransmission, CBF, and spatial memory. CR also reduces anxiety in aging mice. Neuroimaging studies in humans show that CR restores abnormal brain activity in the amygdala of women with obesity and enhances brain connectivity in old adults.


Neuroimaging methods have excellent translational values and can be widely applied in future studies to identify dietary effects on brain functions in humans.

Document Type


Publication Date


Notes/Citation Information

Published in Current Nutrition Reports, v. 6, issue 1, p. 41-48.

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

The copyright holder has granted the permission for posting the article here.

This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Current Nutrition Reports. The final authenticated version is available online at: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13668-017-0187-9.

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