A recent research has said that cutting calories by 15 per cent for two years could slow the metabolic process that leads to aging and serve as protection against age-related diseases.
After one year on a reduced-calorie diet, the participants saw their metabolic rates drop significantly. The lowered rate continued into the second year and led to an overall decrease in oxidative stress, a process that has been tied to diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related conditions.
According to the Cable News Network, the study was published in the journal, Cell Metabolism. Healthy foods that are high in calories include avocados, nuts, olive oil, whole grains, and dark chocolate.
The lead author of the study, Dr Leanne Redman, said that reducing calorie intake would provide health benefits to all people, regardless of their current health status.
Animal studies have shown that restricting calories by 25 per cent could extend life. The new study was designed by Redman and her colleagues to find out if the study could be the same in humans.
During the first phase of the study, the researchers used small-scale pilot experiments to answer a variety of questions including, what kind of calorie restriction could the study participants actually stick to?
To this end, some of the pilot studies tested a diet-only calorie reduction, others tested exercise only, and still others tested half-diet, half-exercise.
Another question posed by the researchers was, what level of calorie restrictions would have an impact on biomarkers of aging?
Redman said aging biomarkers are simple biological measurements that differentiate longer-lived people from people who live the average life expectancy.
“We know that longer-lived individuals are able to sustain lower blood sugar levels and lower levels of insulin and have lower core body temperature levels in comparison to people who don’t live as long as them,” she said.