calorie intake can slow down the process of aging
restriction can help
decrease the risk of developing age-related diseases
the intake of calories can prolong life
calorie intake by 15 percent for two years was found to slow down aging and
metabolism and can also protect against age-related diseases. This is one of
the first studies to explore the effects of calorie restriction on humans. The
current study was published in the journal Cell
results show that calorie restriction decreases the systemic oxidative stress
that has been associated with age-related neurological conditions like Alzheimer's disease
Parkinson's disease, cancer,
diabetes, and others.
‘Calorie restriction regimen works not only for obese individuals, but also for healthy and lean people.’
"Restricting calories can slow
your basal metabolism, and if by-products of metabolism accelerate aging
over several years may help to decrease risk for chronic disease and prolong
life," said lead author Leanne M. Redman, associate professor of Clinical
Sciences at Pennington Biomedical Research in Baton Rouge, LA.
CALERIE stands for Comprehensive
Assessment of the Long-Term Effects of Reducing Intake of Energy,
first randomized controlled trial that aimed to test the metabolic effects of
calorie restriction in non-obese humans.
The second phase of the study shows
results from 53 healthy, non-obese men and women who are in the age group of 21
and 50 who have reduced calorie intake by 15 percent over two years and
underwent additional measurements for metabolism and oxidative stress.
The reduction in calories was
calculated individually through the ratio of isotopes absorbed by the
participants' molecules and tissues over two weeks. This is a technique that
shows a weight-maintenance calorie level accurately.
Participants who were in the calorie
restriction group lost an average of about 9 kg, although they did not follow a
particular diet, and weight loss was not the goal of the study.
There were no adverse effects like
excessive bone loss, or menstrual disorders.
However, both clinical trials showed improvements in mood and health-related
quality of life.
Redman said that even people who are
already healthy and lean could benefit from a calorie restriction regimen.
In lab animals, calorie restriction was
found to lower the core body temperature and resting metabolic rate.
Redman emphasized that CALERIE study
only looked at the effects of calorie restriction on aging and not weight loss.
She said that mammalian studies show
that when the mammal is smaller, the faster their metabolism and the shorter
their longevity would be.
Many factors like antioxidant
mechanisms and dietary and biological factors have a great impact on
metabolism, said Redman.
However, current theories reveal that a
slower metabolism is even more beneficial for healthy aging and that organisms
that burn energy most efficiently need to experience the greatest longevity.
"The CALERIE trial rejuvenates
support for two of the longest-standing theories of human aging: the slow
metabolism 'rate of living' theory and the oxidative damage theory," she
The oxidative damage theory causes
overproduction of free radicals to oxidative damage to lipids, proteins, and
DNA, leading to chronic diseases including atherosclerosis
, cancer, diabetes, and rheumatoid
In this study, the number of
participants was relatively small, and the duration too was short in the
context of a human lifespan. However, biomarkers of aging were improved in the
participants of this study.
Further research is required to
establish robust biomarkers of human aging and investigating the effects of
calorie restriction in combination with antioxidant foods or substances like
resveratrol that mimic calorie restriction.
What are Age-related Diseases?
Aging is referred to the accumulation of
changes that render a person more vulnerable to death. Chronic diseases
and increased mortality are often cited as the hallmark of old age. Some of the
common age-related diseases are:
- Cardiovascular diseases
is Calorie Restriction?
Calorie restriction is a reduction in
calorie intake without deprivation of essential nutrients. A few simple
rules can help control your daily portions of food, that help regulate your
Foods to include in your Diet:
Foods not to be included in your Diet:
olive oil, fish oils, flax seeds, or avocados
fruits are best. Prefer whole fruits rather than
cereals and bread made from whole grains or legumes
- Fish and
shellfish, organic chicken or turkey
protein such as eggs, beans, low-fat dairy, and unsweetened yogurt
- Deep-fried foods
- Packaged and fast foods,
especially those which are high in sugar content,
baked goods, sweets, chips
- White bread, sugary cereals,
- Processed meat and red meat
- Sugary drinks and beverages
- Low-fat products that have
replaced fat with added sugar, such as fat-free yogurt
- NIH study finds calorie restriction
lowers some risk factors for age-related diseases - (https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/nih-
- Age-Related Diseases -
- Calorie Restriction Explained - (https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2002/11/calorie-
- CRON - Calorie Restriction with Optimal Nutrition -