Calorie restriction longevity diets There are many web sites that proclaim the usefulness of calorie restriction diets to promote human longevity. The scientific research is NOT uniform in its results for such nutritional plans. The longevity article offers you a sampling from all the studies. I do not have a particular bias. I am not trying to sell you anything. I am trying to offer you information so you are able to make informed choices for your nutritional habits.
There are different interpretations of what is meant by 'restricting calories' in daily nutrition. Some authors seem to be talking about nutritional choices that do not lead to obesity and other authors seem to be discussing eating fewer calories than normally required to maintain AVERAGE weight for ones height
Researchers in the field of human health all seem to agree that obesity leads to: coronary artery disease, diabetes type 2, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and triglycerides, stroke, and sleep apnea etc. All these conditions are associated with shortened life spans. Reducing obesity is an important longevity strategy. To find out if you are obese click on Body Mass Calculator - then return to read more.
Reducing obesity can be done in any one of three ways:
The first of these strategies, that would be considered Calorie restriction longevity strategy.
Are there any problems with this strategy? Although many people would advocate calorie restriction longevity to reduce obesity, there can be some problems with this strategy. When we diet, about 10% of the weight we lose is weight lost from our bones. This is not normally a problem BUT if someone loses 10 pounds and regains it, the weight regained is NOT usually bone. So if someone is a yo-yo dieter who loses and regains weight 4 or 5 times, the person could seriously impair their bone density.
It may be safer to use the 2nd or 3rd strategies listed above to bring your weight into its normal range.
The second Calorie restriction longevity diet approach is one that is being suggested by many web sites: restricting food intake so that one's weight drops below what is considered 'normal' in the Body Mass Index.
Those advocating Calories restriction longevity diets often appeal to scientific studies that show that rats on calorie restricted diets outlive their counterparts who eat 'normal diets'. They also cites articles such as the one that appeared in JAMA in 2006 titles "Effect of 6-month calorie restriction on biomarkers of longevity, metabolic adaptation, and oxidative stress in overweight individuals: a randomized controlled trial." that concluded "Our findings suggest that 2 biomarkers of longevity (fasting insulin level and body temperature) are decreased by prolonged calorie restriction in humans and support the theory that metabolic rate is reduced beyond the level expected from reduced metabolic body mass."
What they seldom include in their reports is the sentence that followed "Studies of longer duration are required to determine if calorie restriction attenuates the aging process in humans."
In July 2009 another study was published: Arq Bras Endocrinol Metabol. "Effect of caloric restriction on longevity". Although the study done in Brazil is published in Portuguese, here is a quotation from its abstract. "Calorie restriction (CR) is the most evaluated nutritional intervention to increase lifespan in a variety of animal species, including human beings. CR has also been shown to delay the onset or reduce the incidence of many age-related diseases. The mechanism that could explain the effect of calorie intake on aging is related to the reduction of body fat and insulin signaling as well as reactive oxygen species produced during breathing. These phenomena cause oxidative damage to DNA and RNA promoting the process of aging and increasing the risk of illnesses. However, the effect of CR on longevity in human beings is not fully established and further studies are necessary in order to identify the molecular and cellular mechanisms for the therapeutic effect of RC. Moreover, it is necessary to set up the differences between the beneficial effects of caloric restriction from those related to dietary healthy habits."
So if we take the scientists seriously, they are saying that more studies are needed before we can conclude that calorie restriction longevity is a sure thing. In fact this last study questions whether it is the lower calories OR better food choices (See: Anti-aging Food list See also: