Who never entertained the thought of eternal life, right? While we´re not quite there yet, increasing evidence is pointing to a rigorous dietary regimen called calorie restriction, which could possibly prolong our live spans by half.
Calorie restriction refers to a dietary plan where calorie intake is reduced to the bare minimum, without incurring malnutrition. It essentially means eating only what you need to get you through the day without skipping essential nutrients. While this is very rarely the case in our societies today, numerous animal studies reported overwhelmingly beneficial implications from this kinds of diets. These include retardation of some chronic diseases such as diabetes and cancer, while at the same time increasing the life span in many animals by as much as 50%.
The rationale behind the benefits of this extreme dietary approach is still not well understood, although the general consensus is that it triggers higher insulin sensitivity within an organism. This in turn provokes a lower occurrence of the hormone insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), which has frequently been linked to development of age-related diseases.
So far so good, but we all know humans are not exactly rodents or nematodes. Luckily, there are many studies already underway with human participants that will hopefully shed more light on the functionality and safety of caloric restriction for us as well. The results gathered so far do indeed look promising.
Find out more about the beneficial effects of calorie restriction diets in the video below.
By Luka Zupančič, MSc, University of Applied Sciences Technikum Vienna