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Calorie restriction is a diet where you 30% less calories than you would do normally, and have the same nutrients as a standard diet. Scientists have been doing studies on rehsus monkeys and found that calorie reduction doesn’t extend life or prevent age-related diseases. This study done over a 23 year period, monitored rhesus monkeys.
The study, conducted at the National Institute of ageing is in the online issue of Nature, dated August 29, 2012. The science goes back a long way. Previous studies on mice and other animals, even as far back as the 1930’s found that rats and mice on calorie restriction diets lived longer, up to 40%.
Other research has suggested, it’s extended the life of worms, yeast, flies and different types of mice. However, other studies have found no benefits to longevity, in tests on certain mice. There was no gain in longer lifespan and some had a shorter lifespan when calorie restricted. Present-day research suggests finds that it doesn’t have much effect on extending lifespan in humans.
Studies are being conducted, looking into safety and effectiveness of this method of dieting. However, another study has different results of the one above, they found that rhesus monkeys followed for 20 years, lived longer on reduced calories compared to those who didn’t.
Both studies, however, found that certain diseases were more preventable, which were arthritis, diabetes, diverticulosis and heart problems. These would occur at a younger age. In monkeys on standard diets compared to calorie restricted ones. This wasn’t noted so much in the NIA study. In the NIA study, they found incidences of cancer were lower in calorie restricted monkeys.
A researcher said: “These results suggest the complexity of how calorie restriction may work in the body,” said NIA Director Richard J. Hodes, M.D. “Calorie restriction’s effects likely depend on a variety of factors, including environment, nutritional components and genetics.”
So going down the calorie reduction route seems debatable. The evidence suggests otherwise it would be interesting to get other people’s thoughts and input on this as I know several people do use this method, combined with intermittent fasting.