Caloric Restriction Slows Aging


As I've struggled for many years to maintain a healthy weight, I've blamed my desk job as an academic.

But to be honest, a big reason I gained the weight is because I love food and much of it was unhealthy. A couple of years ago, I got serious about my health and began to lose weight.

It made me think a lot about intermittent fasting which cuts down on calories. It restricts food intake on alternate days, five days a week or to just eight hours a day.

An added benefit is that animal studies suggest it can slow aging, and a recent study in people showed the same result.

Two hundred twenty non-obese healthy people were divided into two groups. One that ate their normal diet while the other ate a quarter fewer calories. For a diet based on 2,000 calories a day, that'd be 500 calories.

Going from 2000 to 1500 calories isn't easy. Researchers took blood samples when the study began and then again after one and two years.

They analyzed changes in DNA and white blood cells for biological aging. When they looked at measures for pace of aging, it was slowed for the group on calorie restriction by up to three percent.

That's for just two years. No one knows what will happen over a longer period. When they estimated their risk of early death, the drop was even more dramatic at ten to fifteen percent.

That's striking! But caloric restriction can cause muscle weakness, lower immune responses, among other effects, check with your doctor first!

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More Information

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