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What Doctors Don't Tell You

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July 2020 (Vol. 5 Issue 5)

Eat less to live longer and look younger
About the author: 
Bryan Hubbard

Eat less to live longer and look younger image

Eat less if you want to slow down physical ageing. A calorie-reduced diet can also help you live longer and lessen the chances of a chronic disease usually associated with age, such as cancer and dementia.

Reducing your calorie intake by around 30 percent could yield all these benefits, say scientists from the Salk Institute's Gene Expression Laboratory.

Although other researchers have seen similar benefits, the Salk team is one of the first to see the effects of a reduced diet at the cellular level. Around 57 percent of age-related changes in cell composition weren't visible while eating fewer calories. Cells and genes most affected by the diet helped control the immune system, inflammation—a common response in many chronic diseases, from heart problems, diabetes and cancer—and lipid metabolism. The number of immune cells in particular "dramatically increased", the researchers found.

The tests were carried out on laboratory rats, which were fed either a standard diet or one that reduced calorie intake by around 30 percent. The age of the rats was between 16 and 27 months, the human equivalent of dieting from the age of 50 to 70.


(Source: Cell, 2020; doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2020.02.008)

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