Low calorie diet has no link with longevity
Those who were of the opinion that low calorie diet makes people long live have to change their opinion as a recent study has found that low calorie diet does not make you long live.
"If there's a way to manipulate the human diet to let us live longer, we haven't figured it out yet and it may not exist," biologist Steven Austad from the University of Texas Health Science Centre, who conducted the analysis, has been quoted as saying.
Since 1934, researchers have said that lab rats, mice, yeast, fruit flies and round worms fed 10 percent to 40 percent fewer calories than their free-eating peers 30 percent more longevity. Other studies have showed that they lived twice as long, a report published in the journal Nature writes.
These findings had developed a growing community of believers who consumed low calorie-restricted (CR) diet in order to get a long life.
The finding of the research has also made companies like Procter & Gamble and Nu Skin Enterprises to develop drugs to mimic the effects of calorie restriction.
This new research conducted by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, says that this link is not valid for all species.
It was observed that most of the 57 calorie-restricted monkeys did have healthier hearts and immune systems and lower rates of diabetes, cancer or other ills than the 64 control monkeys.
However, there was no longevity pay-off.
"You can argue that the calorie-restricted animals are healthier," Austad has been quoted as saying.
"They have better cholesterol profiles, less muscle loss, less disease. But it didn't translate into greater longevity. What we learn from this is you can un-link health and longevity," Austad commented.
The NIA study, launched in 1987, is one of two studies to know whether eating just 70 percent of the calories in a standard lab diet extends life in a long-lived primate.
The Wisconsin National Primate Research Centre's study, begun in 1989, also uses rhesus monkeys, whose physiology, genetics and median lifespan (27 years) are very similar to humans than are the rodents in earlier calorie-restriction research.
--with inputs from IANS
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