Eating Fewer Calories

Reducing caloric intake, by filling up on foods with lots of nutrition and not a lot of calories, is a pretty big deal to Dr. Fuhrman. In his book Eat to Live he explains it is an important part of increasing life span:
The evidence for increasing one’s life span through dietary restriction is enormous and irrefutable. Reduced caloric intake is the only experimental technique to consistently extend maximum life span. This has been shown in all species tested, from insects and fish to rats and cats.
In Eat to Live he provides a detailed list of the many benefits calorie restriction has to offer:
  • Resistance to experimentally induced cancers
  • Protection from spontaneous and genetically predisposed cancers
  • A delay in the onset of late-life diseases
  • Nonappearance of atherosclerosis and diabetes
  • Lower cholesterol and triglycerides and increased HDL
  • Improved insulin sensitivity
  • Enhancement of the energy-conservation mechanism, including reduced body temperature
  • Reduction in oxidative stress
  • Reduction in parameters of cellular aging, including cellular congestion
  • Enhancement of cellular repair mechanisms, including DNA repair enzymes
  • Reduction in inflammatory response and immune cell proliferation
  • Improved defenses against environment stresses
  • Suppression of the genetic alterations associated with aging
  • Protection of genes associated with removal of oxygen radicals
  • Inhibited production of metabolites that are potent cross-linking agents
  • Slowed metabolic rate1
Impressive, but it looks like we should add Alzheimer's prevention to this list. According to HealthDay News a new study shows consuming fewer calories may ward off Alzheimer’s disease. Krisha McCoy reports:
In the November issue of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, a team of researchers from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City maintained a group of squirrel monkeys on either calorie-restrictive or normal diets throughout their lifespans.

Compared to those on a normal diet, the monkeys that were fed the reduced-calorie diet were less likely to have Alzheimer's disease-type changes in their brain.

The reduced-calorie diet was also associated with increased longevity of a protein known as SIRT1, which influences a variety of functions, including age-related diseases.
1. Hansen, B. C., N. L. Bodkin, and H.K. Ortmeyer. 1999. Calorie restriction in nonhuman primates: mechanism of reduced morbidity and mortality. Toxicol. Sci. 52 (2 supp.): 56-60; Weindruch, R. 1996. The retardation of aging by caloric restriction: studies in rodents and primates. Toxicol. Pathol. 24 (6): 742-45; Roth, G.S., D.K. Ingram, and M. A. Lane. 1999. Caloric restriction in primates: will it work and how will we know? J. Am. Geriatric Soc. 47 (7): 896-903; McCarter, R.J. 1995. Role of caloric restriction in the prolongation of life. Clin. Geriatric. Med. 11 (4): 553-65; Weindruch, R., M. A. Lane, D.K. Ingram, W.B. Ershler, and G.S. Roth. 1997. Dietary restriction in rhesus monkeys: lymphopenia and reduced nitrogen-induced proliferation in peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Aging 9 (44): 304-08; Frame, L.T., R.W. Hart, and J.E. Leakey. 1998. Caloric restriction as a mechanism mediating resistance to environmental disease. Environ. Health Perspect. 106 (supp. 1): 313-24; Masoro, E.J. 1998. Influence of caloric intake on aging and on the response to stressors. J. Toxicol. Environ. Health B. Crit. Rev. 1 (3): 243-57; Lane, M.A., D.K. Ingram, and G.S. Roth. 1999. Calorie restriction in nonhuman primates: effects on diabetes and cardiovascular disease risk. Toxicol. Sci. 52 (2 supp.): 41-48.
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Jones - November 10, 2006 6:19 AM

Very entertaining issue. I haven't heard of this one. It will be necessary to visit you on a thicket!

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