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Calorie restriction lowers risk of age-related diseases.

A two-year study supported by the National Institutes of Health found that calorie restriction lowered certain risk factors of age-related diseases.* In the study, published in the Journal of Gerontology, 218 healthy normal-weight and moderately overweight men and women were randomized to a reduced-calorie diet that was 25% below their normal calorie consumption. The calorie restriction group was given a weight-loss target of 15.5% in the first year and weight stability over the second year. Weight loss was expected to be achieved by reducing calorie intake 25% below their regular intake at baseline. The other participants maintained their regular baseline diets over the course of the study.

Although the weight loss by the calorie restriction group was the largest sustained weight loss reported in any clinical trial of nonobese participants, weight loss fell short of the target. The intervention arm only reached 12% caloric restriction instead of the trial's 25% goal but did maintain calorie restriction over the two-year period.

Calorie restriction significantly reduced several predictors of cardiovascular disease compared to the control group, including decreasing total cholesterol by 6%, increasing HDL levels, and lowering average blood pressure by 4%. Calorie restriction led to a 47% reduction in levels of C-reactive protein and markedly decreased insulin resistance.

Editor's Note: "It's important to find out whether these reductions would yield long-term benefits," said NIH director and paper author Dr. Evan Hadley. "It also would be useful to discover if calorie restriction over longer periods has additional effects on predictors of health in old age, and compare its effects with exercise-induced weight loss."

* J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2015 Sep;70(9):1097-104.

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Title Annotation:IN THE NEWS
Publication:Life Extension
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2015
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