The Idea that organisms can live a longer, happier life due to a sharp decline in calorie consumption is not new. Laboratory studies have repeatedly demonstrated anti-aging effects of calorie restriction in animals, from nematodes to rats, and the same effect can take place for people. In practice, however, a permanent decline in calorie consumption for 25, 50 or more percent for many sounds like a way to extend the life, thus making it absolutely impossible. Scientists also warn that the methods that work for nematodes and rats may not work and even be dangerous — for people, cause the loss of muscle or bone density.
Two new studies tolerate caloric restriction from the realm of the strange and irrational in the sphere of practical and perhaps even tolerable and necessary. Scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the National Institute on aging, published last month in Nature Communications an article in which he wrote that chronic calorie restriction led to significant improvements in health in rhesus monkeys, a Primate with human — like patterns of aging-and "mechanisms of calorie restriction probably can be translated to human health". Scientists have described a single macaque, which was put on a diet with 30% calorie restriction at the age of 16 years (late middle age for this type of animals). Macaque is now already 43 years old, and this is a record for this species, equivalent to 130 years by human standards.
In the second study, published this week in the journal Science Translational Medicine, a team of scientists led by gerontologist Valter Longo of the University of southern California came to the conclusion that you can come to the effects of rejuvenation, not subscribing to a lifetime of hunger strike. They write that "diet, simulating the post" within five days a month for three months and repeat intervals as necessary — is "safe, feasible and effective for reducing risk factors for aging and age related diseases."
Some scientists, however, still think the argument with the calorie restriction unconvincing. Leslie Robert, a biochemist and physician at the University of Paris, did not participate in two new studies, said that the pharmaceutical approaches offer a greater rejuvenating potential than the "inefficient and obviously harmful" diet. What is important, adds Luigi Fontana, a researcher of longevity in the Washington school of medicine in St. Louis, who also participated in the writing of these works, "if you follow a healthy diet, doing, everything will be fine without any radical diets and the transformation of life in prison at the expense of counting every calorie".
Rosalyn Anderson, a researcher from Wisconsin, and did not deny it. "Life is difficult enough and without participation in some kind of crazy diet," she says. "We are studying all of this as a paradigm to understand aging. We do not recommend people to do that." The cumulative results of the work show that aging is "malleable" in primates and that "aging represents a reasonable target for intervention." While modern medicine sees aging ground for cancer, cardiovascular problems, neural degeneration and other diseases, and calorie restriction "postpones aging and vulnerability".
Despite his reservations about the recommendations of caloric restriction, Anderson praised the work of the research team from the study in Science Translational Medicine for "promotion potential application in clinical conditions." In the study, subjects adhered to a careful diet with 50% restriction of calories (1100 calories on the first day and a 70 percent reduction (700 calories) in the next 4 days), and then ate whatever we wanted until the end of the month.
Gerontologist, Longo says that the experiment is based on the theory that the regenerative effects of such a regime are caused not so much by the office, but the subsequent recovery. In contrast, long-term and continuous calorie restriction can lead to negative consequences like anorexia.
Diet in the study by Longo were 100% plant based and included vegetable soups, energy bars, energy drinks and snacks as well as mineral and vitamin complexes. It was also nutrients, designed to control the expression of genes involved in the aging process.
Even five days month limitation became a problem for some subjects, with the result that their number decreased by 25%. But after the third month showed health benefits in the form of reduced body weight and improved levels of glucose, triglycerides and cholesterol, along with other factors, which have lasted for three months even after returning to a full normal diet. While muscle mass remained unchanged.
The Benefits were great for people who are obese or leading an unhealthy lifestyle, says Longo. But these people may need to repeat the five-day mode monthly until full recovery, while perfectly healthy people will be enough to repeat it twice a year.
None of the new studies does not guarantee that caloric restriction will lead to long life. Longevity in humans remains unpredictable by-product of the countless variations of individual biology, behavior and circumstances. Scientists just want a healthy life lasted longer....
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