Navigation Links
Could 'Extreme' Low-Cal Diets Bring Longer, Healthier Life?
Date:5/25/2011

By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, May 25 (HealthDay News) -- Science has shown that diets that veer close to starvation can make everything from mice to monkeys live longer.

But can such a strict eating regimen prolong human lives, and if so, would those extra years be healthy, happy ones?

Recent research from Washington University scientists found that people who slashed their calorie intake have lower core body temperatures than those who eat more. Core body temperature is the temperature at which all of the functions in the body can operate at maximum efficiency, so the link looks like a positive one, according to some researchers.

Trent Arsenault, a 35-year-old engineer in the Bay Area, certainly hopes so.

He has been a "calorie restrictor" since 2000, consuming just 1,800 calories a day or 25 percent less than what a male of his size -- 6-foot-1 and 150 pounds -- would normally consume, he said.

Since he started, he has shed 60 pounds and now has a body-mass index of 19, just one notch above underweight (which is 18). His body fat composition is only 10 percent.

Arsenault is also one of 28 participants in the first long-term clinical trial to look at extreme calorie restriction in humans, and its effects not only on longevity but also on health.

He was recruited with the help of the Calorie Restriction Society, an international organization with several thousand members.

The study is known as CRONA (Caloric Restriction with Optimal Nutrition and Aging Study). It is being done at the University of California, San Francisco, where participants from many different states as well as England and Japan are traveling for a weekend of tests including cognitive exams, body measurements and a visit to an egg-shaped chamber that measures body fat composition. They'll also complete surveys on everything from their medical history and eating habits to sleep patterns and stress levels.

"It's an interesting paradox because restriction in animals seems to be the fountain of youth, but all my prior work in humans has shown not such great outcomes," said Janet Tomiyama, a psychologist who is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar at UCSF and principal investigator of this trial.

And the animal studies haven't had clear data on how well the animals are actually living.

"The animal data seems good with all the longevity studies but what people really don't know is how healthy the animals actually are," said Heidi A. Tissenbaum, an associate professor in the Program in Gene Function and Expression and in molecular medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester. "How happy are the people? Are they feeling restricted all their life?"

Not only will the investigators be looking at cholesterol and other markers of health, but they will also measure the length of telomeres. These are pieces of DNA which, when shortened, seem to be linked with health problems and a shorter lifespan.

Among other things, the study will look at how personality might differ in calorie restrictors compared to normal eaters or overweight/obese people, as well as cognitive ability, impulse control and how stress is handled.

The study participants are mostly male (as are most calorie restrictors), well-educated and middle-aged.

It will take decades to have results from the trial but Arsenault feels he already has seen a difference.

He doesn't catch colds or the flu, has plenty of energy and neither his sexual drive nor his fertility have been affected, he said. In fact, he has fathered at least 15 children through a sperm bank since he started restricting calories.

Unlike many calorie restrictors, Arsenault did not have a mid-life health scare which propelled him into action. Instead, at the age of 25, he realized he wanted to concentrate on his career, postponing marriage and children.

"[I wanted to] keep myself looking decent enough so that in 10 years I could get married and still be healthy enough to spend time with kids," he explained.

The study is funded by the Appleby Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholars program and the University of California, Berkeley Population Center.

Researchers Elizabeth Blackburn, Elissa Epel and Jue Lin are also co-founders of a new company called Telome Health Inc., which is developing applications of telomere biology to improve health.

More information

For more information on this type of lifestyle, visit the Calorie Restriction Society.

SOURCES: Janet Tomiyama, Ph.D., research fellow, University of California, San Francisco; Heidi A. Tissenbaum, Ph.D., associate professor, Program in Gene Function and Expression and Program in Molecular Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester; Trent Arsenault, engineer and study participant


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Healthy gut flora could prevent obesity
2. Brisk walking could improve prostate cancer outcomes
3. Consortium identifies genome regions that could influence severity of cystic fibrosis
4. New Stanford device could reduce surgical scarring
5. Common test could help predict early death in diabetes, study shows
6. Study identifies novel role for a protein that could lead to new treatments for rheumatoid arthritis
7. New tool to measure outcomes could help improve arm surgery for devastating nerve injury
8. Viagra could reduce multiple sclerosis symptoms
9. Implant jab could solve the misery of back pain
10. Simple fitness test could predict long-term risk for heart attack, stroke in middle-aged people
11. Half of prostate cancers could potentially benefit from new type of cancer drugs, U-M study finds
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Could 'Extreme' Low-Cal Diets Bring Longer, Healthier Life?
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... The OSHA ... Training Institute Education Center headquartered in Northern California, has issued an important reminder ... at their worksites. Employers with workers exposed to high temperatures should establish ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... , ... "FCPX editors can now reveal their media with growing colorful split ... Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProSlice Color brings the split ... now reveal the media of their split screens with growing colorful panels. , ProSlice ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... mental health professionals, announced today its affiliation with Tennessee Counseling Association. ... to the network of the Tennessee Counseling Association, adding exclusive benefits and promotional ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... its strategic partnership with Connance, a healthcare industry leader providing predictive analytics ... proprietary technology combine to provide health systems, hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... cutting edge technology to revolutionize the emergency ambulance transport experience for the millions ... aware of how Uber has disrupted the taxi industry through the use of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)... -- One of Australia,s successful biotechnology scientists, ... new biotechnology company, Noxopharm Limited [ABN 50 608 966 123] ("Noxopharm"). ... list on the ASX. Noxopharm is a clinic-ready company ... Phase 1 clinical study later this year. ... biggest problems facing cancer patients - the ability of cancers to ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... -- Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc (Nasdaq: JAZZ ) ... Improvements Act of 1976, as amended ("HSR"), with respect ... Nasdaq: CPXX ) expired effective June 24, ... As previously announced on May 31, 2016, Jazz Pharmaceuticals ... which Jazz Pharmaceuticals has commenced a tender offer for ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... OTTAWA, Ontario , June 27, 2016  VMS ... the Company,s Board will take whatever measures required to ... the Company,s stock which is currently listed on the ... S Wexler, Company Chairman and CEO, "We are seeing ... be difficult to understand, not only by the Company, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: