Rapid growth in the number of dry eye syndrome patients has been observed worldwide. Increased life span is considered to be at least part of the reason for this because there is a close association between aging and decreased secretory function in the lacrimal gland. Recent advances have led to a new way of thinking about intervention in the aging process. Calorie restriction (CR) is believed to retard functional decline in various organs with age. We hypothesized that CR could prevent age-related lacrimal dysfunction. In this paper, we begin by reviewing the epidemiology of dry eye syndrome and explaining how aging affects lacrimal gland function. We then introduce a possible therapeutic approach to this problem, intervention by means of CR. Finally, suggestions are made for further prospective research that would elucidate the molecular mechanisms by which CR maintains lacrimal gland function.
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