Can Restricting Calories Help Slow The Effects Of Aging?
Can Restricting Calories Help Slow The Effects Of Aging?
We have long known that reducing calories can significantly contribute to weight loss and improve overall physical health. But can reducing caloric intake go a step further and actually slow down the aging process? As a matter of fact (and some raw data), some recent scientific studies have shown evidence to that effect.
If you needed another reason to cut down on the calories, significantly slowing down the speed of time could very well be the motivation to give you a nudge in the right direction. Read on to find out more about what food and calorie intake has to do with tapping into the fountain of youth.
Some History On The Relationship Between Calorie Reduction And Aging
Back in 1935, scientist Clive McCay published an intriguing discovery he made. McCay found that rats with restricted diets were able to live up to 33% longer than previously thought possible. Since then, scientists have conducted similar experiments on many other species—all the way from worms to rodents, and yes, even primates. While the details varied between studies, many actually show results similar to those that McCay originally found. How calories were reduced varies across the studies, but generally speaking, the animals’ calorie intake was decreased by as much as half of what they were normally and regularly consuming. It depended very much on the species, but the most optimistic of the results showed between 50 and 300% of lifespan extensions!
Can Calorie Reduction Be Applied To Humans As A Way To Slow Down The Aging Process?
Scientists say that if these results are anything to go by, that they could hold significant information and implications for our longevity and lifespan. But the studies certainly aren’t without some controversy: many scientists worry that reducing calories may not even benefit humans, or worse, that it could result in long-lasting harm to the body. Scientists say the main question is whether or not calorie restriction can be a way to significantly slow down the aging process or is the whole thing just an experiment that will never make it out of the science lab?
Brigham University says that aging occurs at a cellular level, and that eating less can slow down this cellular process. The university said that recent research published in Molecular & Cellular Proteomics sheds light into how cutting calories impacts the aging that goes on inside a cell. The scientists found that when ribosomes—which are the cell's protein makers—slow down, the aging process actually slows down, too. The decreased speed lowers production but then also gives ribosomes extra time to repair themselves.
But It’s Not Just About Overeating
Harvard University explored the theory, reporting that calorie restriction isn’t just about not overeating when it comes to longevity, but actually having a 50% reduction of calories from a normal diet to begin with. While it might sound like it goes against the grain, consuming less food than what a normal diet calls for seems like it would reduce a person’s lifespan, not actually extend it. But this amount of caloric reduction could pave the way to significantly slowing down the aging process.
Our Metabolism Has Something To Do With It
The speed of our metabolism—as well as free radicals—are believed by scientists to have something to do with the aging process. Caloric restriction is known to reduce the metabolism rate, and since we know that reducing calories normally results in weight loss, this means that less energy is needed to maintain body mass, the Harvard study says. It is believed that a reduced metabolic rate has the ability to decrease the rate of free radical damage to the body. The Harvard study says that while there is no best way known to measure the damage from free radicals, that there is some evidence calorie restriction can lead to lower levels of protein and damage from our DNA. This suggests to scientists that reducing calories can slow down the aging process, allowing organisms to live longer and with significantly less risk of age-related diseases.
Scientists Put Some People To The Test
The US National Institutes of Health sponsored a multi-trial study called CALERIE (which stands for Comprehensive Assessment of Long Term Effects of Reducing Intakes of Energy) on people who reduced the calories they consumed. The study was a random and controlled trial that tested the effects of two years of calorie reduction and rate of metabolism conducted on more than 200 adults who were healthy and non-obese.
This study gave the strongest evidence to date of how restrictions in calorie can significantly slow down the rate of human metabolism. Needless to say, the results of this study gives scientists—and regular people like us—that a low calorie diet and lifestyle has the potential to prolong health in our old age and even extend our lifespan. Experts say that while few people would want—or even be able—to restrict their diets as severely as the participants in the study did, that understanding the biology of how reducing calories can have the potential to extend life and allows scientists to find easier ways to intervene in the aging process.
Some Scientists Are Reducing Calories In Smaller Intervals
The study also notes that other scientists are starting to try out the effect of reducing and restricting calories for just a few days out of every month. In fact, they found that intermittent fasting such as this could be just as effective as continued (or non-stop) calorie reduction to protect mice against the diseases of aging such as diabetes and neurodegeneration.
The Proof Is In The Pudding—Or Lack Of It
LiveScience reported on a small study where people who cut their calories by 15 percent for two years experienced two main potentially beneficial effects compared to those who kept their regular diet. They were said to have slowed down their metabolism: this is a sign that these people’s bodies were using energy much more effectively and efficiently, and that there was less oxidative stress, a process that can damage cells in the body.
Scientists say that both a slower metabolism and reduced oxidative stress in people have been linked to a much lower risk of age-related diseases like diabetes and cancer, according to the medical journal Cell Metabolism.
Some Final Food For Thought
A reduced caloric diet has the potential and shows signs of slowing down the aging process in some people because cutting people’s energy intake also slows down their metabolism. While we certainly advocate for reducing calories for a healthy diet and better overall physical health, it is of course vitally important to talk to your doctor before making any major adjustments to your diet, calorie intake, and lifestyle.
It is true that aging occurs at a deep cellular level in the body, there are other, but there are more external ways to look and feel more youthful and refreshed. One needs to look no further than the plethora of anti-aging treatments on the market. Moisturizers, for one thing, put moisture into the skin, helping it to look more soft, plump, and supple. Retinol and Vitamin C serums can also effectively slow down and even take away some of the telltale signs of aging, such as wrinkles and age spots. Alpha hydroxy and beta hydroxy peels as well as laser treatments in a dermatologist’s office can also make for a more youthful visage.
The Titan Allways skin tightening device is an acclaimed anti-aging treatment system that reduces wrinkles and crow’s feet, while also promoting collagen (a compound that decreases significantly as we age). It also restores elastin fibre and has the ability to lift the contours of the face without surgery. And you can do your treatments with the Titan Allways device from the comfort of your own home. It allows for a cordless option so you can use it anytime, anyplace - perfect for traveling. A healthy diet in combination with a home skin therapy device that builds volumes and strengthens the deeper layers of the skin to improve skin structure and elasticity, while blurring superficial sun and age spots, can be a highly effective self-care regimen that is results-driven.
Get Proactive About Slowing Down The Aging Process
Eating a balanced, healthy diet and well-proportioned meals is a great way to give your body the fuel it needs for energy and vitality. Exercise and staying active is also highly recommended. But you don’t have to stop there: using an anti-aging product such as the cordless Silk'n Titan AllWays - wrinkle reduction & skin tightening device can be a great addition to your anti-aging arsenal. A smoother refreshed complexion could be a lot closer to home than you think.