Thursday, August 30, 2012

"Calorie restriction" may not make you live longer

The theory has been around so long, and many kind of hollow-eyed skinny people do it, that many believe severe calorie restriction means you increase your chances of living longer.

Sharon Begley, Reuters, Aug 29, 2012, says a new study “shows” that an extreme, emaciating regimen does not increase livespan in monkeys, anyhow.

The way to manipulate the human diet, one source said, has not been figured out yet and may not exist.

Yet, since 1934, experiments on rats, mice, yeast, fruit flies, and round worms seemed to show that if fed 10-40% less, some lived 30% longer.

The joke there is—maybe it SEEMED longer.

The new study, from the National Institute of Aging, found that yes, the rhesus monkeys had healthier hearts and immune systems and lower rates of diabetes, cancer, and other ills, there was no payoff in terms of lifespan.

“We can unlink health and longevity,” one doctor summarized. Unlink? That seems like a leap to me, but I am not a doctor.

Interestingly, those primates that started calorie restriction at a younger age tended to die of causes unrelated to aging.

What to conclude—interesting. Also this is making me hungry.

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