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STUDY: Initial findings in people support calorie effect seen in lab animals.
AUTHORS: George S. Roth
ABSTRACT: For the first time, researchers have found evidence suggesting people may live longer by eating fewer calories each day, a dietary restriction that already has shown in experiments to extend the lives of laboratory animals by up to 40 percent.
COMMENTARY: Even if the evidence proves to be correct, it’s unknown how much extra time people might live.
Laboratory studies for decades have shown that reducing the calories fed to lab mice and rats enabled the animals to live much longer.
Now, George S. Roth and his colleagues at the National Institute on Aging say they have preliminary evidence that biological changes that help create superaged rodents may also work in humans.
The biological markers — lower temperature, lower insulin levels and a steady level of a steroid hormone called DHEAS — all occur in restricted-diet rodents that live about 40 percent longer than fellow rodents on a normal diet.The same biological markers have now been found in men who are living longest in a continuing study in Baltimore on aging.
Men whose biomarkers were similar to those of the calorie-restricted, long-lived rodents were dying at a much slower rate than were men with other biomarker measurements.