A new study has claimed that the key to slowing down the aging process rests on reducing calorie intake. Is there any truth to this? Read this article to find out.
What are the study’s findings?
According to the study published on February 9 in the journal Nature Aging, a two-year intervention requiring participants to cut 25% of their daily calories slowed the pace of aging by 2-3%. Essentially, this is a 10% to 15% mortality risk, which is the same level of risk reduction as quitting smoking.
In the opinions of Calen Ryan, Ph.D., co-lead of the study, many people might find this level of caloric reduction too difficult to follow. However, the study proves that changes in behavior can have a measurable impact on the rate of your aging even without the use of drugs.
This has also paved the way for studying other interventions like intermittent fasting or time-restricted eating, which are more achievable for the larger population.
Calorie restriction can improve metabolism and heart health
This study is an aspect of an ongoing review called CALERIE (Comprehensive Assessment of Long-Term Effects of Reducing Intake of Energy), which began in 2006. Previous studies which used CALERIE trial data showed multiple benefits associated with calorie restriction.
For example, one investigation revealed that calorie restriction slows aging-related changes in physiology linked to your kidneys, liver, blood vessels, metabolism, and immune system. Another study showed that reducing calories eliminated major risk factors for type 2 diabetes and heart disease while improving cardiovascular and metabolic health.
Fewer calories resulted in slower aging.
To calculate the impact of calorie reduction on biological aging, researchers analyzed blood samples obtained from trial participants at the pre-intervention baseline and after 12 and 24 months of follow-up.
They discovered that reducing your calorie intake slowed the pace of biological aging. Additionally, there was a dose-response effect, i.e., participants who cut back their caloric intake to a larger extent had a greater decline in their biological aging pace.
By reducing the amount of calories you consume, the current assumption is that restriction affects nutrient-sensing pathways and energy metabolism in ways that can reduce or reverse the effects of aging.
Before adopting any calorie-restrictive diet, you need to consult your doctor so the process can be done under the care and guidance of a professional. Additionally, you need to keep taking the recommended amount of nutrients, so calorie reduction doesn’t affect your health negatively.