Calorie restriction may fight aging

22 08 2006

Big Burger Some time ago I watched a program on TV where some people believed that calorie restriction could lead to a longer life. They followed a special diet, low in calories and high in micronutrients. Now it seems those advocates for a low-calorie diet may be right.

After a few preliminary studies, results suggests that eating a low-calorie yet nutritionally balanced diet extends human life. It seems that six months of calorie restriction reduces two key markers of aging: fasting insulin levels and body temperature. Also, after an average of six years on calorie restriction, people’s hearts functions like the hearts of much younger people.

The studies show that the hearts of people on calorie restriction appear more elastic than those of age- and gender-matched control subjects. All subjects who dieted or increased their exercise lost weight and body fat. But those on a calorie restriction diet ended the study with lower fasting insulin levels and lower core body temperatures. They also had less oxidative damage to their DNA, thought to be a marker of aging at the biochemical and cellular level.

Researchers are getting ready to launch a second phase of an important study called CALERIE, to look at the effects of calorie restriction over the course of two years. In this study is involved the Calorie Restriction Society, whose members served as subjects in a previous study.

Check these two studies for more information:

Long-Term Caloric Restriction Ameliorates the Decline in Diastolic Function in Humans

Effect of 6-Month Calorie Restriction on Biomarkers of Longevity, Metabolic Adaptation, and Oxidative Stress in Overweight Individuals

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