- News Home
17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
- About Us
Lean, Hungry, and Long-Lived
20 April 2004 (All day)
It's been shown in mice, fish, and yeast; now the first study of long-term calorie restriction in humans suggests that if you really want to live longer, eat less.
Few people are willing to cut back drastically on their caloric intake for years on end. But researchers at Washington University in St. Louis managed to locate 18 (15 of them men), aged 25 to 82, who have spent an average of 6 years following nutritionally balanced diets recommended by the Calorie Restriction Society. The scientists compared them with 18 people, otherwise clean livers, on a "typical Western diet." On average, the subjects ate 1700 calories a day, compared with at least 2100 for the controls, says lead investigator Luigi Fontana, who also works for the Italian institute of health.
Dr. Atkins notwithstanding, the subjects lost a lot of weight while consuming 46% of their calories as complex carbohydrates. Their "bad" cholesterol, blood lipids, and diabetes risk markers went way down. Blood pressures dropped to childhood levels. The subjects' bodies were 9% fat--compared with 24% for controls and, surprisingly, with 12% for people who run 50 miles a week, says Fontana. And none of the dieters had plaque on their carotid arteries, the scientists report online 19 April in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
William Harlan, a nutrition expert and clinical trials adviser to the National Institute of Mental Health, calls the study "provocative." He points out that even though the study subjects were self-selected, "the differences that are present are striking. ... More studies like this [would] provide us a better idea of what a truly healthful diet would look like."