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Medicine Science

Calorie Restriction May Not Extend Lifespan 251

Posted by timothy
from the not-even-time-for-one-more-cigarette dept.
sciencehabit writes "Slash your food intake and you can live dramatically longer — at least if you're a mouse or a nematode. But a major study designed to determine whether this regimen, known as caloric restriction, works in primates suggests that it improves monkeys' health but doesn't extend their lives. Researchers not involved with the new paper say the results are still encouraging. Although the monkeys didn't evince an increase in life span, both studies show a major improvement in 'health span,' or the amount of time before age-related diseases set in. 'I certainly wouldn't give up on calorie restriction as a health promoter' based on these findings, says molecular biologist Leonard Guarente of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge."
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Calorie Restriction May Not Extend Lifespan

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  • Re:I'll die happy (Score:5, Informative)

    by Physician (861339) on Thursday August 30, 2012 @09:46AM (#41178303) Homepage
    That is not an option according to the research. You will die at the same time as the skinny guy but will acquire age related diseases sooner so the skinny guy will enjoy a larger percentage of his life outside the nursing home, hospital and doctor's office.
  • Re:I'll die happy (Score:3, Informative)

    by crmarvin42 (652893) on Thursday August 30, 2012 @09:51AM (#41178355)
    The sad part is that you don't

    - A Nutritionist
  • Re:I'll die happy (Score:5, Informative)

    by iONiUM (530420) on Thursday August 30, 2012 @09:55AM (#41178397) Homepage Journal

    You're quite right. lo carb hi fat [locarbhifat.com] diet is also what I use, and I have also had success in lowering my weight, and keeping off mild hypertension. It's extremely sad that people think fat is the what is making them unhealthy.

  • Re:I'll die happy (Score:5, Informative)

    by PPalmgren (1009823) on Thursday August 30, 2012 @10:05AM (#41178541)

    Most of the other fun things in life do not favor the restricted calorie intake, so its kind of a moot point unless you enjoy a sedentary lifestyle. As someone whose experienced how the body feels on the level of restricted calories required to trigger the effect that's been studied, its a life of lethargy and lack of energy. I used to eat twice a day, under 1000 calories, and my bodily functions followed (don't have a bowel movement but once every couple days, don't get hungry, etc). The side effects were I could barely work out hard for 20 minutes and couldn't enjoy outdoor activities because I simply didn't have the energy, wanting to sleep upwards of 12 hours a day when feasible. Now that I eat 5 times a day, my body is fully rested on 7 hours and I can enjoy a full day of activity.

    Granted, I loved the low calorie method when I was getting all my giggles from gaming and relaxing, but now that I've had the drive to do more it just doesn't work for me. I expect this is the same for parents as well, the key factor being time. To have the energy needed to be active and function on lesser amounts of sleep, a higher metabolism lifestyle is almost a requirement.

  • Re:I'll die happy (Score:5, Informative)

    by crmarvin42 (652893) on Thursday August 30, 2012 @11:07AM (#41179267)
    Cooked bacon is about 38-40% fat and 38% protein [usda.gov], and Wendy's Baconator still provides almost half of its calories from carbohydrates [wendys.com].
    Most of the fat in cheap ground beef it lost during the cooking process so that even 70% lean beef is only 15-18% fat after cooking [usda.gov]
    A 1 ounce serving (28g) of Velveeta contains less than 0.01 g of trans fat [self.com] (the lower threshold for listing)
    Most americans are not diabetic [diabetes.org]

    As someone who is professionally employed as a nutritionist and has a Ph.D. in the science, I have to say that this:

    There's pretty much something there to sabotage everyone's digestive system and metabolic balance.

    is completely meaningless.

    There is a lot of FUD being spread around about various types of food, and a lot of misinformation about nutrition in general. Eating at a fast-food joint every day is probably going to be unhealthy depending on what you order, assuming you have a daily caloric expenditure that is close to the 2,000/d that the government bases its recommendations on. However, it is more important that your diet match your activity level, than that you avoid specific foods or food groups. As an illustrative example, Michael Phelps consumes 12,000 calories/d when training [michaelphelps.net]. He is obviously a statistical outlier, but that is partially my point. The maintenance energy requirement for every person is different, and very much dependent upon that persons activity level. Their is nothing inherently bad about any of the ingredients in a triple bacon cheeseburger, nor with the final product. It is when such calorie dense meals are consumed in excess of your calorie expenditure that they start to cause problems.

  • by scharkalvin (72228) on Thursday August 30, 2012 @12:31PM (#41180217) Homepage

    Wrong. You body DOES make vitamin D when you are exposed to the sun.

  • Re:I'll die happy (Score:4, Informative)

    by pepty (1976012) on Thursday August 30, 2012 @01:04PM (#41180713)

    Their is nothing inherently bad about any of the ingredients in a triple bacon cheeseburger, nor with the final product.

    nitrosopyrrolidine and dimethylnitrosamine?

    I'll agree that there is an ever changing crest of FUD and hype surrounding some basic food types and superfoods repectively. On the other hand, the evidence over the past 40 years between increased intake of nitrate preserved meat ( especially when subsequently cooked at high temperature) and CHD, diabetes, and all cause mortality has not been reverting to the mean. Instead the correlation has been getting tighter and tighter, with better mechanistic studies at the biological chemistry end and better data at the epidemiological end.

    I'm not saying BAN ALL BACON; I'm saying there is evidence that eating a lot may cause you harm.

  • Re:I'll die happy (Score:3, Informative)

    by Jaytan (1163393) on Thursday August 30, 2012 @02:59PM (#41182429)

    Cooked bacon is about 38-40% fat and 38% protein [usda.gov], and Wendy's Baconator still provides almost half of its calories from carbohydrates [wendys.com].

    You provided a link to the nutrition facts, but this statement is false. The Baconator has 970 calories, and the website lists 570 of those as being from fat. 400 is close to half sure, but you're ignoring the sources of the calories.

    The website says a Baconator has 63 grams of fat, 40 grams carbs and 60 grams protein. 1 gram of protein or carbs is worth 4 calories, and 1g of fat is 9 calories.

    Using that a Baconator's gets it calories from the following sources:
    567 calories from fat. (~58.5%)
    240 calories from protein. (~24.7%)
    160 calories from carbohydrates. (~16.5%)

    So carbs aren't anywhere near almost half of the calories in a Baconator.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 30, 2012 @03:19PM (#41182719)

    oh my god! a chemical!

    Oh My God! I'm a Chemist!

    you're worried about nitirites and nitrates in your diet? celery has a lot of nitrites and nitrates. so does spinach. so does lettuce

    So what?

    1. ascorbic acid in vegetables tends to scavenge nitrites, so you don't end up with nitrosamines.

    2. Vegetables have a very low amine content, so again you don't end up with nitrosamines.

    3. Meats preserved with nitrates (especially the ones subsequently cooked at hi temp - that's when many nitrosamines are formed ) are the ones associated with cancer, etc. Vegetables aren't. I just named the two nitrosamines most prevalent in cooked bacon.

    do you want a couple hundred more scary chemicals in your food listed from plant sources?

    Are the food sources (when properly prepared and not contaminated) linked by epidemiological data to excess morbidity or mortality?

      so herbivores and omnivores like us respond with an organ called "the liver". which breaks down the toxic, carcinogenic, teratogenic, and otherwise lethal brew of noxious chemicals that plants have firing at us for millions of years.

    Nitrosamines are hepatotoxins, even in rats. Rats are sometimes referred to as "livers wrapped in fur" in toxicity testing because they are so proficient at dealing with various toxins. Plenty of other toxins aren't really even toxic until they get activated in the liver. The liver isn't some magic suit of armor; it just hydroxylates the shit out of everything until it's water soluble enough for the kidneys to get rid of.

    just because you can string together a bunch of chemicals doesn't mean you understand what the greatest toxic danger to your body is that is out there: PLANTS

    Actually, stringing together a bunch of chemicals (and then identifying and purifying the resultant polymer) is something I'm pretty good at. The greatest toxic danger to my body personally is probably the neat hydrofluoric acid I work with daily, but whatever.

    I get that there are a lot of people freaking out about "the evil of chemicals" - I'm not one of them. It's worse than ever now, since improved mass spec techniques make it cheap and easy to find parts per trillion/parts per billion of just about anything anywhere. On the other hand it hasn't gotten any easier to determine safe exposure levels, especially in long lived mammals. In the end we need good epidemiological data to figure it out, and for nitrosamines we're getting it.

  • by pepty (1976012) on Thursday August 30, 2012 @03:25PM (#41182785)

    oh my god! a chemical!

    Oh My God! I'm a Chemist!

    you're worried about nitirites and nitrates in your diet? celery has a lot of nitrites and nitrates. so does spinach. so does lettuce

    So what?

    1. ascorbic acid in vegetables tends to scavenge nitrites, so you don't end up with nitrosamines.

    2. Vegetables have a very low amine content, so again you don't end up with nitrosamines.

    3. Meats preserved with nitrates (especially the ones subsequently cooked at hi temp - that's when many nitrosamines are formed ) are the ones associated with cancer, etc. Vegetables aren't. I just named the two nitrosamines most prevalent in cooked bacon.

    do you want a couple hundred more scary chemicals in your food listed from plant sources?

    Are the food sources (when properly prepared and not contaminated) linked by epidemiological data to excess morbidity or mortality?

    so herbivores and omnivores like us respond with an organ called "the liver". which breaks down the toxic, carcinogenic, teratogenic, and otherwise lethal brew of noxious chemicals that plants have firing at us for millions of years.

    Nitrosamines are hepatotoxins, even in rats. Rats are sometimes referred to as "livers wrapped in fur" in toxicity testing because they are so proficient at dealing with various toxins. Plenty of other toxins aren't really even toxic until they get activated in the liver. The liver isn't some magic suit of armor; it just hydroxylates the shit out of everything until it's water soluble enough for the kidneys to get rid of.

    just because you can string together a bunch of chemicals doesn't mean you understand what the greatest toxic danger to your body is that is out there: PLANTS

    Actually, stringing together a bunch of chemicals (and then identifying and purifying the resultant polymer) is something I'm pretty good at. The greatest toxic danger to my body personally is probably the neat hydrofluoric acid I work with daily, but whatever.

    I get that there are a lot of people freaking out about "the evil of chemicals" - I'm not one of them. It's worse than ever now, since improved mass spec techniques make it cheap and easy to find parts per trillion/parts per billion of just about anything anywhere. On the other hand it hasn't gotten any easier to determine safe exposure levels, especially in long lived mammals. In the end we need good epidemiological data to figure it out, and for nitrosamines we're getting it.

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