Calorie restriction not the way to increased longevity after all?

Drastically reducing calorie intake may not be as effective as previously thought for prolonging lifespan, according to a 23-year study published in Nature.

The idea that eating less could slow the ageing process was sparked when researchers at Cornell University found that rats and mice given a restricted diet could live 40% longer, and the concept has since been confirmed by studies on fruit flies and roundworms.

In 2009, gerontologist Richard Weindruch of the University of Wisconsin showed that a moderately calorie-restricted diet slowed ageing in rhesus monkeys over the course of 20 years.

But a new study on rhesus monkeys, carried out by the US National Institute on Aging (NIA) in Bethesda, Maryland, has found no overall benefit to longevity from calorie-restricted diets.



8 responses to “Calorie restriction not the way to increased longevity after all?

  1. Common sense. Don’t eat more calories a day than your body needs.

  2. That will freak my brother out who is following a calorie restricted diet since it was first claimed to work on rats. I’ll be sure to let him know.

    • If he’s a rat, there’s no problem. It was monkeys they aren’t sure of anymore. ^_~

      • Big grin. I tried to tell him that at the time but he is a biochemical engineer so anything like that stuck like flypaper. Vegetarian, weighs 49 kg at 1.78 meter. His skin looks like a floppy tarp with this beautiful grayish tint typical for veggies.

  3. There’s something goofy here. If the low calorie diet (is that what they’re claiming?…. it’s not really clear) results in less cardio-vascular disease, less diabetes, and so forth. HOW DOES THIS NOT INCREASE LONGEVITY. The only 2 answers I can think of are: 1) the less well-fed monkeys died more of something else (not mentioned); or 2) they screwed up the experiment.

    • Bruce of Newcastle


      Death by boredom is a significant risk factor. That or death from extreme smugness.

    • Since when have fewer calories equaled longer life span?

    • David, obviously 1 is true. Lower weight is associated with increased vulnerability to injury and illness to the point that being underweight is considered more dangerous than being overweight, and Hollywood skinny is significantly less healthy than all but the most morbidly obese.

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