Can Restricting Your Calories Slow Aging?

Eating fewer calories appears to slow the pace of aging and increase longevity in healthy adults, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Nature Aging. The study, which was funded by the National Institute on Aging, part of the National Institutes of Health, is the first-ever randomized controlled trial that looked at the long-term impact of calorie restriction.

It adds to an already large body of evidence that a calorie-restricted diet can provide substantial health benefits, including delayed aging, said the study’s senior author, Dan Belsky, who is assistant professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health in New York City.

“The main take-home of our study is that it is possible to slow the pace of biological aging and that it may be possible to achieve that slowing through modification of lifestyle and behavior,” Belsky said.  

In a phase 2 clinical trial, which ran for two years, 220 adults were randomized to cut their caloric intake by as much as 25% — 500 calories for people who generally consume 2,000 calories a day — or to make no changes to their diet. The participants had a body mass index, or BMI, ranging from 22 to 27. 

Excerpted from NBC News

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