Since the 1930s, researchers and various life extension “experts” have touted food restriction as a way to extend life.
Numerous studies on fruit flies and mice have shown that a calorie reduced diet does indeed extend life span.
The idea is that a low-cal diet helps a group of proteins called sirtuins help your dna (and you by extension) live longer.
Unfortunately, a number of recent studies (including this one) contradict that belief.
In this most recent study, researchers studying the effect of food restriction on fat & weight loss found that the mice who maintained their fat actually lived longer than the mice who melted off their body-fat.
- Researchers put 41 different strains of lab mice on a severe low-cal diet
- They correlated the amount of diet-induced fat reduction to life span.
- The mice who dropped the most weight died sooner than…
- The mice who starved yet stayed kind of blubbery (aka the Skinny-Fat mice)
“Indeed, the greater the fat loss, the greater the likelihood the mice would have a negative response to dietary restriction, i.e., shortened life,” said James Nelson, Ph.D., professor of physiology at the Barshop Institute. “This is contrary to the widely held view that loss of fat is important for the life-extending effect of dietary restriction. It turns the tables a bit.”
What does this mean to you?
According to Dr. Nelson, this means that:
- If you’re naturally chubby, a low-cal diet may help extend your life
- If you’re naturally lean…not so much.