Eat Less To Live Longer?
Will cutting down in calories slow your aging clock as well as help cut extra weight of your waistline? Since the 1930s, scientists have known that restricting calories not only delays aging but even reverses some of its consequences in laboratory rats and mice. By feeding these animals are very low calorie diet, a mere 30 to 50 percent of what they normally eat, scientists have been able to extend the lives of not only mice but also fruit flies.
One study was designed to see whether monkeys, fed a diet that included all required nutrients but two-thirds the usual calories, would live longer than normal. Data suggests that the primates who ingested a lean meal, as compared to their peers who ate all the food they wanted, had a lower incidence of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. One theory as to why there's a link between eating less and living longer? Metabolism of food leads to the production of free radicals; the less food consumed, the fewer damaging free radicals produced.
Rats and monkeys, however, are not humans. Before caloric restriction is recommended as a potential antiaging strategy for people, carefully supervised studies on humans (such as those currently sponsored by the U.S. National Institute on Aging) need to be done. Caloric restriction is risky to try on your own; While its generally known that seniors require fewer calories,the aging body is also less efficient in absorbing and using some nutrients. Knowing how to cut calories without compromising essential nutrients can be tricky; becoming undernourished would erase any benefits of such a diet - if indeed there are benefits to be had. Low-calorie diets are likely to be deficient in some nutrients, and leading proponents of such regimens, such as antiaging specialist Dr. Roy Walford, believe that supplementation with vitamins and minerals is essential.
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