Extreme Low Calorie Diets Don’t Prolong Lives
Bad news for readers who are not mice: extreme calorie restriction will not help you live longer. For years, researchers have known the restricting the calories of mice by 30 percent or more could extend their lifespan by up to 40 percent. As the Wall Street Journal reports, the same technique appeared to work with rhesus monkeys, for a while. Now comes a paper in the journal Nature reporting that monkeys fed since 1987 with a diet that had 30 percent fewer calories than ordinary monkey dining failed to increase the lifespan of animals, which makes it unlikely that extreme calorie restriction would extend the lives of humans. There were, however, a few clear health benefits to eating fewer calories. The journal reports that male monkeys had significantly lower cholesterol levels, but the females did not. Cutting calories also appeared to have lowered the incidence of cancer, but it nudged up cardiovascular disease. Several researchers noted that the calorie restricted monkeys never complained about not being able to fit into their pants. Read the study here.