Recent research done on rhesus monkeys shows that ,limiting calorie intake may actually help increase life span.
Lesser calorie input seems to improve the functioning of important defensive cells in the immune system. Rhesus monkeys are said to be closely akin to human beings in their immune response mechanisms. These findings reflect that a reduction in calorie intake could augment the human immune mechanism as well, opined the lead researcher Dr. Janko Nikolich-Zugich.
The changes that occur in the immune system as people age, considerably affect the susceptibility to infections. The defensive T-cells that play a prime role in increasing the resistance to illnesses are severely affected by the aging process.
Reduced calorie input has shown marked reduction in aging in rats. Similar results have been elicited from previous researches conducted with worms, yeast, zebra fish, flies, and spiders. Researchers speculate that the same results may be applicable to monkeys as well.
Caloric restriction was started in 13 young adult monkeys, between18-23 years, on a long term basis. Results elicited thus far prove a more compatible reaction from the immune system, with improved T-cell production, reflected by better resistance to infectious diseases .28 other monkeys were also part of the study with normal diets. The study suggests that by improving resistance to infectious diseases, the life span of an individual may get increased.
The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has published the results of this study in its current issue. The experts are quite confident hat the key to extending longevity lies in imbibing strength and vitality to the immune system.