Calorie-Restricted Diets May Not Prolong Life
Eating too much takes a toll on health, but new evidence suggests that eating less than normal doesn't prolong lives. Calorie-restriction diets, with from 10 to 40 percent fewer calories a day than is typically recommended, gained traction after studies in rodents and worms found that eating less meant longer lives for these creatures. But could the findings be reproduced in primates? Starting in 1987, scientists tracked the health of one group of rhesus monkeys on a normal diet and another on a restricted diet. In the current report, the researchers conclude that the monkeys on the harsh diet lived about as long as the well-fed monkeys. These results conflict with a previous report from a different laboratory that found calorie restriction increased monkeys' life spans. The scientists plan to see whether differences in the studies' designs can account for the discrepancy.
Source: Nature, published online Aug. 29, 2012