Thursday, July 9, 2009
Could eating less extend your life?
It seems to work for monkeys. A 20-year study of rhesus monkeys found cutting calories by almost a third slowed their aging and fended off death.
It backs up what scientists have long known about mice, worms and flies, that their lifespan can be extended by deep, long-term cuts in what should be normal consumption.
And the study found the monkeys didn't just live longer, they were healthier.
The calorie-cut monkeys had less than half the incidence of cancerous tumors or heart disease as the monkeys who ate normally. Brain scans showed less age-related shrinkage in the dieting monkeys. They also retained more muscle, something else that tends to waste with age.
The question for scientists now is whether that kind of calorie-cutting would have a similar effect on humans.
The study on monkeys living at the Wisconsin National Primate Center appears in the journal Science.