Cutting calories from your diet not only makes you slim, it may help lessen the effect of aging, says a study. Christiaan Leeuwenburgh and other scientists from the University of Florida's Institute on Aging fed rats just eight percent fewer calories a day and moderately increased the animals' activity.
The lifespan of the rats extended from their average and significantly overturned the negative effects of cellular aging on their liver function and overall health, reported the science portal EurekAlert.
An eight percent reduction is the equivalent of a few hundred calories in an average human diet and moderate exercise is equivalent to taking a short walk, the scientists say.
The findings indicate even small reductions in calories could have big effects on health and shed light on the molecular process responsible for the phenomenon, which until now has been poorly understood.
"It suggests that even slight moderation in intake of calories and a moderate exercise programme is beneficial to a key organ such as the liver, which shows significant signs of dysfunction in the aging process," Leeuwenburgh said.