Calorie Restriction with Optimum Nutrition
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What's New in Calorie Restriction?

  • CR on The Oprah Winfrey Show (March 24, 2009)


  • 2006-02-01: A new forum for this site has been created. From now on, all "What's New" information will be posted on it.

  • 2006-01-13: Calorie Restricters Seem Young at Heart: A study of 25 members of the Calorie Restriction Society found that adherents to diets extremely low in calories, but well balanced, had significantly lower levels of inflammatory markers and more flexible ventricles, which translated into better diastolic function, reported Luigi Fontana, M.D., Ph.D., of Washington University here, and colleagues. Read more.
  • 2004-12-08: Article in the January 2005 issue of Popular Science features controversial theorist Aubrey de Grey who insists that we are within reach of an engineered cure for aging. Are you prepared to live forever?

    "de Grey’s Seven Deadly Sins of Aging, his formulation of the cellular and molecular culprits that he believes account for human decline. They are: the atrophying of tissues as a result of cell loss; the havoc caused by old cells that linger rather than self-destruct; waste buildup inside lysosomes, the garbage compactors of our cells; the waste products that build up between cells; the improper bonding of sugar and protein molecules that reduces the elasticity of our tissues; genetic mutations in the mitochondria; and genetic mutations in the cell nucleus that lead to cancer. Biologists are not convinced that these processes all contribute to aging, but de Grey is, and he has proposed solutions to each. How practical or realistic those solutions are is another matter. 'Aubrey will say something that’s the biological equivalent of 'Let’s build a 1,000-story building on the head of a pin, and then we can—,' and I’m like, 'Wait, wait, let’s go back to that first part again,'' says Judith Campisi, a top cell biologist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. (On the other hand, though Campisi has yet to feel compelled to do an experiment because of a conversation with de Grey, she doesn’t rule it out. 'I wouldn’t waste my time talking to him if I thought it would never happen,' she says.)"
  • 2004-11-24: San Diego Union-Tribune's very-accurate article Live and let diet: Eating less may mean a longer life if you can stand the hunger pangs notes:

    "Of all the potions and pills, schemes and dreams that claim to possess the secret of living longer, only one method outside actual genetic manipulation has been scientifically proven to extend life: It's eating less, a lot less. Everything else – from herbal supplements to hormones – is wishful thinking at best, life threatening at worst."
    "In every animal model tested, a diet severely reduced in calories extended the organisms' life span, sometimes almost doubling it. Percentages represent the increase in average life span when calories were restricted."
  • 2004-11-24: San Diego Union-Tribune article So, you want to live to be 125? Life expectancies can be stretched, scientists say. Some of the article's highlights:

    "But a number of scientists and doctors think it's too early to start talking about a 'finished' line. They assert, in principle, that there is no maximum human life span.

    Aubrey de Grey, a biogerontologist at the University of Cambridge in England, says that under the right circumstances, humans born in the 22nd century (just 96 years away) could live up to 5,000 years.

    De Grey, who advocates using technology to develop a 'true cure for aging,' is indisputably at the optimistic extreme. But plenty of others see longer lives ahead.

    'I think people will someday live substantially longer than today,' said Steven Austad, a biologist at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in San Antonio. '(Living) into your 100s will be fairly routine, up to 150 for the outlier (a longer-lived person who is the exception to the rule). I think this because we have been so successful at figuring out how to make animals live longer.

    'The arguments (against appreciably longer life spans),' he added, 'are based so far as I can tell on ignoring a huge pile of research done over the past 15 years and the mystical belief that longevity, unlike every other human trait we know of, is impossible to change.'"

  • 2004-10-13: More evidence that CR in monkeys reduces mortality: Mortality and morbidity in laboratory-maintained Rhesus monkeys and effects of long-term dietary restriction (A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2003 Mar;58(3):212-9): "Bodkin NL, Alexander TM, Ortmeyer HK, Johnson E, Hansen BC.

    Obesity and Diabetes Research Center, Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, University of Maryland, Baltimore 21201, USA. nbodkin678@aol.com

    "Mortality and morbidity were examined in 117 laboratory-maintained rhesus monkeys studied over approximately 25 years (8 dietary-restricted [DR] and 109 ad libitum-fed [AL] monkeys). During the study, 49 AL monkeys and 3 DR monkeys died. Compared with the DR monkeys, the AL monkeys had a 2.6-fold increased risk of death. Hyperinsulinemia led to a 3.7-fold increased risk of death (p <.05); concordantly, the risk of death decreased by 7%, per unit increase in insulin sensitivity (M). There was significant organ pathology in the AL at death. The age at median survival in the AL was approximately 25 years compared with 32 years in the DR. The oldest monkey was a diabetic female (AL) that lived to be 40 years of age. These results suggest that dietary restriction leads to an increased average age of death in primates, associated with the prevention of hyperinsulinemia and the mitigation of age-related disease."

    PMID: 12634286 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

    and: Calorie restriction in rhesus monkeys ( Exp Gerontol. 2003 Jan-Feb;38(1-2):35-46) Mattison JA, Lane MA, Roth GS, Ingram DK.

    Intramural Research Program, Gerontology Research Center, National Institute on Aging, NIH, 5600 Nathan Shock Drive, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA. mattisonj@mail.nih.gov

    "Calorie restriction (CR) extends lifespan and reduces the incidence and age of onset of age-related disease in several animal models. To determine if this nutritional intervention has similar actions in a long-lived primate species, the National Institute on Aging (NIA) initiated a study in 1987 to investigate the effects of a 30% CR in male and female rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) of a broad age range. We have observed physiological effects of CR that parallel rodent studies and may be predictive of an increased lifespan. Specifically, results from the NIA study have demonstrated that CR decreases body weight and fat mass, improves glucoregulatory function, decreases blood pressure and blood lipids, and decreases body temperature. Juvenile males exhibited delayed skeletal and sexual maturation. Adult bone mass was not affected by CR in females nor were several reproductive hormones or menstrual cycling. CR attenuated the age-associated decline in both dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and melatonin in males. Although 81% of the monkeys in the study are still alive, preliminary evidence suggests that CR will have beneficial effects on morbidity and mortality. We are now preparing a battery of measures to provide a thorough and relevant analysis of the effectiveness of CR at delaying the onset of age-related disease and maintaining function later into life."

    PMID: 12543259 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

    and: Caloric restriction in primates (Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2001 Apr;928:287-95) Lane MA, Black A, Handy A, Tilmont EM, Ingram DK, Roth GS.

    Laboratory of Neurosciences, Gerontology Research Center, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, Maryland 21224, USA. MLANE@vms.grc.nia.nih.gov

    "Caloric restriction (CR) remains the only nongenetic intervention that reproducibly extends mean and maximal life span in short-lived mammalian species. This nutritional intervention also delays the onset, or slows the progression, of many age-related disease processes. The diverse effects of CR have been demonstrated many hundreds of times in laboratory rodents and other short-lived species, such as rotifers, water fleas, fish, spiders, and hamsters. Until recently, the effects of CR in longer-lived species, more closely related to humans, remained unknown. Long-term studies of aging in nonhuman primates undergoing CR have been underway at the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW) for over a decade. A number of reports from the NIA and UW colonies have shown that monkeys on CR exhibit nearly identical physiological responses as reported in laboratory rodents. Studies of various markers related to age-related diseases suggest that CR will prevent or delay the onset of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and perhaps cancer, and preliminary data indicate that mortality due to these and other age-associated diseases may also be reduced in monkeys on CR, compared to controls. Conclusive evidence showing that CR extends life span in primates is not presently available; however, the emerging data from the ongoing primate studies strengthens the possibility that the diverse beneficial effects of CR on aging in rodents will also apply to nonhuman primates and perhaps ultimately to humans."

    Publication Types:

    * Review
    * Review, Tutorial


    PMID: 11795520 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

  • 2004-10-06: Do the math and compute Life Expectancy. And Survivorship curve.
  • 2004-10-05: Brother's heart history more important than dad's, reports the CBC. "U.S. researchers have found that a history of early heart disease in one's siblings is a better predictor of heart disease than parental history or risk factors such as cholesterol levels and smoking".
  • 2004-09-09: Are there similarities between CR and sleep restriction? Maybe so, as reported in this journal article in Sleep Medicine Reviews:

    Increases in melanin-concentrating hormone and MCH receptor levels in the hypothalamus of dietary-obese rats • ARTICLE: Molecular Brain Research, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 30 July 2004, Joanne C. Elliott, Joanne A. Harrold, Peter Brodin, Kerstin Enquist, Assar Bäckman, Mona Byström, Kerstin Lindgren, Peter King and Gareth Williams pdf.

    Long sleep and mortality: rationale for sleep restriction
    Sleep Medicine Reviews, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 22 April 2004,
    Shawn D. Youngstedt and Daniel F. Kripke
    THEORETICAL REVIEW

    Summary: Epidemiologic studies have consistently shown that sleeping >8 h per night is associated with increased mortality. Indeed, the most recent American Cancer Society data of 1.1 million respondents showed that sleeping longer than 7.5 h was associated with approximately 5% of the total mortality of the sample. The excess mortality was found even after controlling for 32 potentially confounding risk factors. Although epidemiologic data cannot prove that long sleep duration causes mortality, there is sufficient evidence to warrant future testing of the hypothesis that mild sleep restriction would decrease mortality in long sleepers. Sleep restriction might resemble
    dietary [calorie] restriction as a potential aid to survival. Sleep restriction has several potential benefits besides possible enhanced survival. Acute sleep restriction can have dramatic antidepressant effects. Also, chronic sleep restriction is perhaps the most effective treatment for primary insomnia. Conversely, spending excessive time in bed can elicit daytime lethargy and exacerbate sleep fragmentation, resulting in a vicious cycle of
    further time in bed and further sleep fragmentation. Sleep restriction may be most
    beneficial for older adults, who tend to spend excessive time in bed and have more
    sleep fragmentation compared with young adults.

    Adaptive effects of moderate sleep restriction?
    Analogous to sedentary lifestyle, long TIB or long
    total sleep time might be unhealthy partly because
    it avoids physiological challenge. Abundant animal
    research shows that chronic exposure to mild
    stressors, including moderate food restriction,95
    heat shock,96 and microgravity 97 can enhance
    longevity. Moderate sleep restriction, below levels
    which one might normally choose, might promote
    longevity via a similar hormetic mechanism.

  • 2004-09-11: I want to live forever: From the UK, The GuardianUnlimited, reports "Research shows that mice live longer if they're half-starved. There's no scientific proof the regime works for humans - yet. But around a thousand people, most of them men, have drastically cut back on their calorie intake in the hope of resisting disease and beating the ageing process."
  • 2004-07-22: Protein extends life - No dieting needed? Not likely! Though this article, from from Harvard and David Sinclair, suggests the potential for the protein molecule known as Sir2 and often sold in a form known as resveratrol, to do just that. It seems to do that in some yeast and fruit fly experiments. However, investigations by Michael Rae of the Calorie Restriction Society seem to indicate only that a very-specifically produced version of resveratrol may do the trick; the stuff being touted by the pill market may, in fact, do more harm than good.
  • 2004-06-23: Michael Rae's It's Never Too Late: Calorie Restriction is Effective in Older Mammals.(REJUVENATION RESEARCH Volume 7, Number 1, 2004)
  • 2004-June (upcoming): Long sleep and mortality: does sleep restriction mimic calorie restriction ? See Abstract in: Sleep Medicine Reviews: Volume 8, Issue 3 , June 2004, Pages 159-174
  • 2004-05-13: Calorie-restriction devotees hungry for longer life. CBC article and Radio spot featuring Michael Rae.
  • The Fountain of Youth: It's in the Genes (??)
    Severely Restricted Diets May Slow Aging Process Washington Post Article Featuring: Brian Delaney, Francesca Skelton and Khurram Hashmi.
  • New Feature: Book Reviews of Calorie Restriction and other Related Titles
  • Michael Rae on CanWest Global/The Edmonton Journal: Diligent dieters live longer, healthier, study finds. April 20, 2004.
  • Calorie Restriction Lowers Heart Risk: Study Is First in Humans to Show Protection Against Diseases of Aging: Khurram Hashmi and Brian Delaney interviewed, From WebMD.com, April 19, 2004
  • MIT Helps Unlock Life-extending Secrets Of Calorie Restriction, Science Daily, Date: 2004-01-01. Read the Article How Does Calorie Restriction Work (written in 2003 by Jana Koubova and Leonard Guarente)
  • Cutting Calories To Live Longer CBS Evening News, April 8 2004
  • Michael Rae, a long-time calorie restrictor, on Discovery TV Channel Canada; 2004-01-30
  • 2003-12-31: Restrict Calories, Live Longer? New Clues on How Drastic Calorie Restriction May Promote Longevity (WebMD)
  • What are CR mimetics? Drugs or molecules that mimic the effects of calorie restriction.See: (1) and (2).
  • CR in the popular press (MSNBC article)
  • Okinawa Int'l Conference on Longevity Nov 12-13, 2001
  • Okinawa Program Website
  • 2001-09-01"Caloric restriction is the only intervention shown to extend lifespan in mammals" UCR Researcher (BBC)
  • Brief diet alters gene activity (Stephen R. Spindler)
  • LEF interview w/Stephen R. Spindler
  • Microwaving-browning and AGEs
  • Quorn international distribution, across Europe and beyond (a potential new source of vegetarian protein)
  • You may have heard about Glycemic Index through Brand-Miller's popular book The Glucose Revolution but What about an Insulin Index ?

...other Media and News-making events...

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