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Study Finds Calorie Restriction Can Be Effective in Maintaining Blood Vessel Health

Scientists examine the link between calorie intake and the development of abdominal aortic aneurysm

A study published in The Journal of Experimental Medicine has found that calorie restriction can be an effective means of early prevention of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). People with this condition develop an “enlargement of the main artery in the abdomen,” which is “caused by a weakening of the blood vessel wall,” Food Navigator reported.

“We think that calorie restriction mimics the natural living conditions with food shortage we [got] used to thousands [of] years ago,” said Dr. De-Pei Liu, lead author of the study. “Hence, in response to calorie restriction… the inherent adaptive reactions are induced for the maintenance of cellular and systematic homeostasis of the organism.”

For the study, mice “selected for their susceptibility in developing AAA” were subjected to a calorie-restricted diet for 12 weeks and compared to control mice that were fed a normal diet. The calorie-restricted mice had lower rates of AAA rupture and death.

“Our findings implicate that reducing calorie intake holds promise as an effective yet simple way for early prevention and intervention of AAA in humans, especially in patients who are obese and at an advanced age,” said Liu.

Liu warns that calorie restriction “should be practiced in a moderate and gradual manner” to minimize any potential adverse health reactions. 

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