A long-term diet of moderate calorie restriction may reduce the onset of chronic conditions, according to a recent study in the journal Aging.
A low-calorie diet — assuming that levels of protein, vitamin, and mineral intake remain constant — is believed to decrease inflammation, the precursor to many age-related chronic diseases such as heart disease and dementia. It is even part of the biology of aging itself.
Co-author of the study, Luigi Fontana, professor of medicine and nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis and Brescia University in Italy, outlined the basic impact of the result on the population: “With all of today’s fitness and biometric measurement technology available to the public, it is certainly feasible for the average person to maintain a 10-15 percent calorie restriction as a strategy for long-term health benefits.”
Little is actually known about what a low-calorie diet may do in the long term besides reducing inflammation; even with adequate intake of nutrients, scientists do not know how adult bodies would react in the future to a consistent diet of moderate calorie restriction.
Although the study is far from conclusive, calorie restriction has been proven to lengthen the lifespan of rodents. This study is the first to show a potentially similar outcome with humans.