Reducing your calorie intake by around 30 per cent for around six months changes your circadian rhythms—your biological clock—so that the effects of physiological ageing are slowed, or even stopped.
Earlier studies have found that a low-calorie diet can help you live longer, but now researchers have discovered that you can also look and feel younger too.
The first tests have been carried out on laboratory mice, but the findings could be 'far-reaching' for humans, too, say the researchers from the University of California at Irvine.
As we age, older cells process energy less efficiently, and lose their ability to turn genes on and off, but for some reason—and the researchers are still trying to figure out the mechanism—when we eat less, the process is rejuvenated "in a most powerful way," said researcher Paolo Sassone-Corsi.
In a separate test, researchers from the Barcelona Institute for Research in Biomedicine discovered that a low-calorie diet maintained the youthful functioning in our body clock when they looked at skin samples form young and old mice.