Here's a really cool and exciting study that was published last week. If you haven't heard about calorie-restriction, it's the only proven way to extend lifespan across numerous species, from single-celled yeast, to insects (like fruit flies), to rodents (like rats). This is where calorie intake is restricted to about 30-40% less than what you would normally consume if you were able to just eat as much as you desired (while continuing to provide all the necessary nutrients--a key differentiation between calorie-restriction and malnutrition/starvation).
However, confirming that this could happen in humans was a far leap. In 2012, the first long-term study was published on monkeys, which didn't show benefits to calorie-restriction. However, there are reasons for this, and the researchers behind this newly published study suggest that the control group monkeys in the 2012 study were also inadvertently calorie-restricted due to the study's design.
Now, this study--the second long-term study on primates--conducted in a study with a slightly different design, and one the researchers say avoid the problems of the first study, shows significant and powerful benefits of a 30% reduction in calories consumed. This was a 25-year study (and is ongoing, as is that other study), and shows that monkeys that were allowed to eat freely (as much as they want) had a 2.9-fold increased risk of disease (like diabetes) and a three-fold increased risk of pre-mature death, compared to those consuming a diet with 30% less calories.
The study started in 1989 and followed 76 rhesus monkeys, who were fed either a calorie-restricted or "ad libitum" diet from between the ages of seven to 14 years of age.
"We started with adults,” explained a co-author of the study. “We knew how much food they wanted to eat, and we based our experimental diet on a 30% reduction in calories from that point."
In contrast, the study published in 2012 was designed in a manner where monkeys were fed according to a standardised food intake chart designed by the National Academy of Science, throwing into question whether the control monkeys were truly allowed to eat freely, or if they too were calorie-restricted.
So be mindful of your standard diet and consider cutting things back slowly, while continuing to ensure all your nutritional needs are met. It's never too late to start, although the earlier the better! Besides, I think everyone would welcome a 30% savings off their grocery bill!
...side-benefits to the planet would also include better food security and less need for GMO (if you believe Big Agri's propaganda that it's the answer to feeding a ballooning global population).
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Source: Caloric restriction reduces age-related and all-cause mortality in rhesus monkeys
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