By Susan Scutti
Updated April 17, 2018
With animals, studies show that cutting calories by 25% extend life. Is it the same for humans?
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Based on a new study, if you restrict your calorie intake by at least 15% for at least two years you may be able to beat today’s average life span.
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Cutting calories can protect against age-related diseases and slow down the metabolic process that leads to aging.
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A slowed metabolism means the body has become more efficient in using fuel to derive energy.
The more energy your body must generate, the more prone you are to cell and organ damage linked to a shortened life span. So efficiency is good.
Calorie restriction mimicked some of the healthy aging signs seen in men and women who celebrate birthdays in their 90s and 100s.
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How’d the study work?
Small scale experiments to find out which restrictions worked for participants: Reducing calories by diet, exercise or both.
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Tracking the slashed calories and weight loss of women between 25 and 45 and men between 25 and 50 during a two-year period.
The study had remarkable results: Participants lost an average of 20 lbs each by the end of year one and maintained the loss during year two.
Nobody knows for sure exactly how calories restriction prevents aging. But, research supports two theories of longer life: the “rate of living” (lower metabolism) and reduced damage to cells.