Consuming less food slow aging process: Study
Restricting calorie intake by eating less food could help slow down the aging process, according to a new study in the US published in the journal Nature Aging.
Researchers, led by the Butler Columbia Aging Center at Columbia University in New York, used DNA analysis from blood samples to measure the rate of aging and reported that calorie restriction slowed the aging process.
Participants included 220 healthy men and women in three different sites in the United States. The participants either continued with their regular diet or had a 25% reduction in their consumed calories.
The researchers reported a slowing aging process based on three DNA markers.
The study used what are commonly known as “biological clocks” to determine the pace of aging in its participants. Bioclocks are designed to measure how old people are biologically compared with their real ages chronologically.
“We’ve known for nearly 100 years that calorie restriction can extend healthy life span in a variety of laboratory animals,” said senior author Daniel Belsky, an associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.
“It does this by changing biology in ways consistent with a slowing of the process of aging, although the specific mechanisms of how this occurs are still under investigation,” said Belsky, who studies longevity. “We decided to drill down to the cellular level in people to see if the same is true.”
Decades of research in animals have shown that calorie restriction produces health benefits, even slowing the pace of aging.
Overeating and obesity significantly increase the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases.
There are other ways to curb aging as well, said Pankaj Kapahi, a professor at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in Novato, California.
“We’re trying to learn more about aging and we are, but calorie restriction is just one intervention,” he said. “You likely need to do that in combination with exercise, with enough sleep, with a positive attitude and good mental health. All these things combined will likely play a much bigger role in slowing aging.”