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Keep young by eating less

March 2020

Man looking at cake
Eating 30% less than normal might help protect against ageing

A new study has added extra strength to recent reports that eating less can help protect us against age-related diseases and problems.

The famous Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California has undertaken new research that shows that is you want to reduce the levels of inflammation throughout your body, delay the onset of age-related diseases and live longer, you need to eat less food, perhaps 30% less.

The new study involved scientists from America and China and provides the most detailed report to date of the cellular effects of a calorie-restricted diet. The research involved rats but demonstrated clearly that aging in cellular pathways can be reduced by reducing calorie intake.

Age is the highest risk factor for many human diseases such as cancer and dementia, and calorie restrictions in animal models has been shows to be one of the most effective interventions against these age-related diseases.
In the new paper, the researchers explained how they compared old and young mice on various diets, analysing cells from fat tissues, liver, kidney, aorta, skin, bone marrow, brain and muscle.

The research not only provided additional evidence of the benefits of eating less; but also provided the most complete and detailed study of what happens to a single cell during aging.  The team is now hoping to use this information to discover and implement strategies towards increasing life and health spans.

"We already knew that calorie restriction increases life span, but now we've shown all the changes that occur at a single-cell level to cause that," says Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, a professor at Salk’s Gene Expression Laboratory and a senior author of the new report.  The hope is that with this information, the team will eventually be able to research drugs to treat ageing in humans.

There is a great video that summarises these findings at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypAdKPq6MD4&feature=youtu.be
and there are other links here for anyone wanting to know more about this.

Any news that will help prevent problems associated with ageing is very welcome, but against this the NHS does urge people to be careful and maintain a healthy body weight.

The government health website has an excellent information page that shows recommended calorie intake for various ages and whether you lead a sedentary or active lifestyle:
https://health.gov/our-work/food-nutrition/2015-2020-dietary-guidelines/guidelines/appendix-2/

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