In the video, you'll discover what the latest scientific research on diet for longevity and long-term health says.
Eric Ravussin, Ph.D. – Caloric restriction, longevity and hormesis
Summary of the video
Until 2 years ago, almost no research has been done on caloric restriction in humans.
What does science have to say about it?
Studies have shown that caloric restriction increased the average lifespan of these animals.
With promising results from animal testing, the National Institute on Aging felt it was time to start conducting studies on humans.
Dr. Eric Ravussin, Ph.D., and his team conducted a 2-year study that included 220 healthy people and the results were published in September 2015.
Before this study, most of the knowledge about the effects of caloric restriction in humans was on overweight or obese people, not on "normal" people.
A group that followed a diet restricted in calories, consuming 25% less calories than they needed to maintain their weight.
A control group that followed a regular diet to compare the results.
For every 2 people in calorie restriction, there was 1 in the control group.
The main objective of this study was to see how a diet with calorie restriction affected the resting metabolic rate and the associated oxidative stress.
When your body uses oxygen to oxidize carbohydrates, fats and proteins to produce energy (ATP), this chemical process creates a byproduct called reactive oxygen species (ROS).
Normally our body can handle these molecules, but if they are produced in excess, they can damage your cells and accelerate aging. This is called oxidative stress.
On the other hand, if you have a slower metabolism, these molecules are produced in smaller amounts and you suffer less aging and cell damage.
So, basically, if it reduces your metabolism, it could probably slow aging.
The main question to answer was whether with a low calorie diet we can reduce the metabolic rate enough to decrease the production of these ROS and decrease the damage they do to our fats, proteins and particularly to our DNA and slow aging.
The results showed that the metabolic rate decreased much more than you could expect from all the weight you lost.
The resting metabolism of the people in the study was much lower than expected.
Medical tests performed on these people showed signs of slower aging, a decrease in cell damage and healthier values for risk factors, especially markers for insulin and IGF-1.
These results validate the idea that we can extend our lifespan with caloric restriction.
And also opens the possibility of delaying the presence of diseases in healthy people.
For example: if on average, most people have diabetes when they turn 55, we could delay it so that diabetes appears when they turn 75.
In the past, periods of abundance and banquet were combined with times of scarcity and even hunger.
Today we have an excess supply of high-calorie foods.
If we reduce our intake of calories a lot, we can benefit from the process of hormesis.
Hormesis is a phenomenon in which exposure to a mild stressor can give us beneficial effects.
For example, when you have a cold shower, your immune system becomes active and becomes stronger.
Following this example, a slight lack of food can help our bodies become healthier and stronger.
To do this, we can try intermittent fasting.
Studies have shown that IF helps regulate biological processes, such as glucose metabolism and autophagy (a natural and destructive mechanism that dismantles unnecessary or dysfunctional cellular components).
How to implement this:
– Occasionally skipping a meal
– Try leangains intermittent fasting
– Try the alternate day of fasting
However, this can also be a double-edged sword because extreme fasting can reduce energy levels, muscle mass and bone density.
It is about finding a middle point between the benefits of fasting and a balanced diet.
For more tips on physical development, nutrition and personal development, check out:
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Video credits to Mario Tomic YouTube channel