Calorie Restriction Extends Longevity

Jun 03, 2002

Scientists are finding a prescription for long life that few may want to take. Calorie restriction, as it is called, is a diet so low in calories that most Americans might call it starvation, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Last month, Labrador retrievers became the first large mammals to join the list of laboratory animals in which calorie restriction has yielded exceptionally long-life. Rats were the first in the 1930s, followed by guppies, water fleas, yeast, spiders and a microscopic water invertebrate called the rotifer.

Scientists appear on the verge of a finding that it also extends the life span of monkeys, who share more than 90 percent of their genes with humans. At the National Institutes of Health, where researchers have been studying a colony of 120 rhesus monkeys for 15 years, evidence for calorie restriction is increasing. The control animals, fed a healthy low-fat diet, are dying at a normal rate, while animals fed 30 percent less appear to be living longer and avoiding age-linked maladies.

Moderator Comment: Will large numbers of consumers
engage in calorie restriction should the preliminary scientific evidence prove
valid? What impact will it have on CPG manufacturers and retailers?

Wouldn’t you think that with kids developing adult onset
diabetes at a near epidemic pace and the perils of obesity becoming increasingly
clear that this would have an impact? Nah, we don’t either. Let them eat cheesecake.
Anderson – Moderator

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