Monkeys Live Longer On Low-Cal Diet

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

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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.

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