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Calorie Restriction Could Be Key to Slowing Down Aging Process

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on July 18, 2009

j0438867The quest for the fountain of youth continues in America and around the globe, and while some researchers believe they’ve found the answer in anti-aging serums and procedures, others think that aging has a lot to do with our diets.

According to recent findings reported by Richard Wiendruch, Ph.D, Professor of Medicine at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, cutting back on the calories may slow down the aging process. Dr. Wiendruch and his team have been studying the effects of caloric-restriction on rhesus macaques (a class of monkeys), and report that their results indicate a significant slowing of the aging process when calories were cut by as much as 30%.

This particular study has been underway since 1989, and the research consisted of a randomized trial of caloric restriction where adults in the active arm were fed a diet containing all essential nutrients, and the control arm were fed 30% fewer calories. The macaques have been monitored for age-related diseases and other effects, and the researchers report that 37% of the control animals died of age-related causes, compared to 13% on the low-calorie diet.

Dr. Weindruch says that the animals on the low-calorie diet are not only biologically younger, but also look younger than those who lived on the regular diet. (Source: MedPageToday.com)

Overall, the calorie-restriction diet reduced the risk of mental degeneration and many age-related diseases. But can a low-calorie diet have the same effects on a human being?

Results on humans are inconclusive at this point, but many anti-aging specialists and nutritionists have supported the idea that reducing caloric intake to a moderate level – perhaps lower than the standard requirements imposed by federal health organizations – can help slow down the aging process and reduce the risk of age-related disease. Felipe Sierra, PhD of the National Institute on Aging is supporting a human study that monitors the effects of calorie-restriction on men and women from a select group. Although difficult to monitor, this type of program may provide some insights on the effects of aging and caloric intake over our lifetime.

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