The 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.