Age Management Medicine News Letter - 06.01.06

by Dr. Randy Smith of Antiaging Atlanta

Caloric reduction may be an important part of an overall Antiaging strategy according to this article. Don’t start starving your self yet though. 

The benefits of caloric restriction cited in this study, including the reduction of free radicals and general inflammation can be accomplished by other anti-aging strategies such as antioxidant and EPA (omega 3 fatty acid) supplementation and HRT (hormone replacement therapy).  

Reduced calorie diet may cut levels of chemicals linked to aging

ST. LOUIS - Washington University researchers have found another reason that cutting calories lengthens life.

A recent study reported that eating a high-nutrition low-calorie diet could reverse signs of aging in the heart.

Now scientists, led by Dr. Luigi Fontana, have discovered that cutting calories also can cut levels of body chemicals associated with aging.

Fontana and his colleagues studied three groups of 28 people each. The first group consisted of people on calorie-restricted diets. The people built highly individualized diets from fruits, vegetables, nuts, lean proteins, dairy products and whole grains. Calorie consumption ranged from 1,112 calories per day to 2260 calories per day with an average intake of 1779 calories per day. People in the group had followed the restricted diet for an average of six years but were sedentary.

The second group consisted of endurance runners who logged an average of 48 miles per week. The runners ate an average of 2,811 calories each day. Both the exercisers and dieters had very low body fat.

A third group consisted of sedentary people who ate a standard Western diet. The sedentary group consumed, on average, 2,433 calories in a day.

All of the groups were composed of healthy, nonsmokers who had stable weights and weren't taking medicines or dietary supplements that might interfere with the results.

The researchers reported that the calorie-cutters, but not the runners or nondieters, had lower levels of a thyroid hormone called T3 in their blood. The hormone is associated with metabolism, body temperature and the production of free-radicals, chemicals linked to cancer and aging. The calorie restriction group also had lower levels of an inflammatory protein called tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF alpha.) Inflammation is thought to cause damage that promotes aging.

The fact that the runners had low body fat similar to the calorie restriction group, but didn't have lower levels of aging-related chemicals, means that just being lean isn't enough to fight aging, Fontana said. Only lowering energy intake seems to change the factors that contribute to aging.

The results of the new study were reported last week in the online edition of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

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