General, Research, Technology

Hunger takes its toll: extreme diet has proven effective against aging

The idea that organisms can live moreA long, happy life due to a sharp decrease in calorie intake is far from new. Laboratory studies have repeatedly demonstrated the anti-aging effect of calorie restriction in animals, from nematodes to rats, and the exact same effect can occur for humans. In practice, however, the constant reduction in calorie intake of 25, 50 or more percent for many sounds like a way to extend life, while making it completely impossible. Scientists also warn that methods that work for nematodes and rats may not work - and even be dangerous - for humans, causing loss of muscle or bone density.

Despite its reservations about the recommendationcalorie restriction, Anderson praised the work of the research team from a study in Science Translational Medicine for “promoting clinical use.” As part of the study, subjects followed a careful diet with a 50 percent calorie restriction (1,100 calories on the first day and a 70 percent reduction (700 calories) the next 4 days), and then ate what they wanted until the end of the month.

Gerontologist Longo says at the coreThe experiment is based on the theory that the regenerative effects of this regimen are caused not so much by the post itself, but by subsequent restoration. In contrast, long-term and continuous calorie restriction can lead to negative consequences like anorexia.

The diet in Longo's study was 100%vegetable and included vegetable soups, energy bars, energy drinks and snacks, as well as mineral and vitamin complexes. It also had nutrients designed to control the expression of genes involved in aging.

Even five days of monthly restrictions have becomea problem for some subjects, as a result of which their number decreased by 25%. But after the third month, health benefits were found in the form of reduced body weight and improved glucose, triglycerides and cholesterol levels, along with other factors that persisted for three months even after returning to a full normal diet. At the same time, muscle mass remained unchanged.

The benefits were great for people sufferingobese or unhealthy, says Longo. But these people may need to repeat the five-day regimen every month until they are fully restored, while completely healthy people will need to repeat it twice a year.

None of the new studies guarantees thatcalorie restriction will lead to a long life. Longevity in humans remains an unpredictable byproduct of countless variations in individual biology, behavior, and circumstances. Scientists just want a healthy life to last longer.