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Calorie Restriction May Not Extend Lifespan

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the not-even-time-for-one-more-cigarette dept.

Medicine 251

sciencehabit writes "Slash your food intake and you can live dramatically longer — at least if you're a mouse or a nematode. But a major study designed to determine whether this regimen, known as caloric restriction, works in primates suggests that it improves monkeys' health but doesn't extend their lives. Researchers not involved with the new paper say the results are still encouraging. Although the monkeys didn't evince an increase in life span, both studies show a major improvement in 'health span,' or the amount of time before age-related diseases set in. 'I certainly wouldn't give up on calorie restriction as a health promoter' based on these findings, says molecular biologist Leonard Guarente of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge."

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251 comments

Study funded by... (5, Funny)

DaTrueDave (992134) | about 2 years ago | (#41178151)

...McDonalds Corporation?

Re:Study funded by... (2)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | about 2 years ago | (#41178287)

both studies show a major improvement in 'health span,' or the amount of time before age-related diseases set in

More likely by LAP-BAND®

I'll die happy (5, Insightful)

justdiver (2478536) | about 2 years ago | (#41178155)

I'd rather be fat and die early having eaten the things I liked, than old, skinny and never enjoyed a triple bacon burger with extra cheese.

Re:I'll die happy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41178199)

The funny part is everything but the bun is good for you...

Re:I'll die happy (1)

dhermann (648219) | about 2 years ago | (#41178247)

The funny part is everything but the bun is good for you...

No, the funny part is you believe that.

Re:I'll die happy (3, Informative)

crmarvin42 (652893) | about 2 years ago | (#41178355)

The sad part is that you don't

- A Nutritionist

Re:I'll die happy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41178403)

Yeah, because saturated fat is really good for you!

Re:I'll die happy (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41178753)

Yes it is. Your nervous system and cell membranes are composed almost entirely of the stuff. Even Framington showed that it is beneficial. The directors of the study are huge critics of the lipid hypothesis.

The vitamins your body makes are made of cholesterol.

Re:I'll die happy (2, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | about 2 years ago | (#41178425)

Bacon that is a least 50% fat and high in salt.
Cheap high fat ground beef.
Cheese that is likely Velveeta with trans fat.
White bread that will trash your blood sugar levels.

There's pretty much something there to sabotage everyone's digestive system and metabolic balance.

Re:I'll die happy (1, Interesting)

pointyhat (2649443) | about 2 years ago | (#41178599)

My great grandfather died 2 years ago at the ripe age of 104. He ate a fry up /every/ morning with copious amounts of bacon, smoked more pipes than popeye, drank whiskey literally all the time.

My grandmother was given 2 years to live 30 years ago due to heart problems. She still knocks back the bottle and fries chips in lard twice a week.

There is no magic balance.

Re:I'll die happy (5, Insightful)

NettiWelho (1147351) | about 2 years ago | (#41178673)

Congratulations on having spotted a statistical trend armed with whopping total of 2 data points.

Re:I'll die happy (0)

pointyhat (2649443) | about 2 years ago | (#41179061)

Well considering the existing causality data is based on picking the "regression analysis" that matches the desired result for marketing healthcare process, I'd say my data was probably more useful.

Please don't forget that stats do not include predispositions either genetically (born with it) or mentally (doomed self to it).

Note: I worked with stats and medical data for years...

Re:I'll die happy (1)

oakgrove (845019) | about 2 years ago | (#41178975)

Yeah, I'm thinking it has a lot to do with your genetic predisposition. If you're wired to live a long time you probably will if you aren't you probably won't. You can cheat mother nature a little here and there with the diet and exercise but in the end she's the one holding all the cards. I'm hungry now.

Re:I'll die happy (1)

f3rret (1776822) | about 2 years ago | (#41179343)

My great grandfather died 2 years ago at the ripe age of 104. He ate a fry up /every/ morning with copious amounts of bacon, smoked more pipes than popeye, drank whiskey literally all the time.

My grandmother was given 2 years to live 30 years ago due to heart problems. She still knocks back the bottle and fries chips in lard twice a week.

There is no magic balance.

Mutants, both of them. No really.

Admittedly, the boring kind of mutant that doesn't have eyelasers or anything.

Re:I'll die happy (2, Insightful)

RobertLTux (260313) | about 2 years ago | (#41178695)

okay so its not possible to have

1 lean bacon (more red than white)
2 ground lean steak
3 actual Cheddar
4 a Whole Grain/Multigrain Bun

and maybe some lettuce ,tomato and pickles on said burger??

and i think having some chili cheese chips (roasted not fried) would be good.

Re:I'll die happy (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 2 years ago | (#41178957)

Not if you're getting it from Icky Micky.

Re:I'll die happy (1)

Ironhandx (1762146) | about 2 years ago | (#41179627)

See, here I see a problem. The first two swaps on your list are not beneficial unless you have a pre-disposition to not being able to process those types of cholesterol or fat properly. Blanket diet requirements don't work. Some people will live longer eating fatty crap than they would if they ate all of what we call "healthy" food.

Shit. I most recently lost 30 lbs eating about 1800 calories a day of wendys and mcdonalds, and not the health food items they now have. I'm talking mcdoubles, baconators, probably what most would consider the worst things on the menu.

Went to the doctor shortly afterwards and the results were as follows.

My cholesterol: Fine. My Sugars: Perfect. My Blood pressure: From High-Normal to Perfect-Normal.

A lot of this shit isn't that bad for you. The worst thing for you at mcdonalds is the french fries and the pop. You can eat every other nasty piece of shit they serve and as long as you don't have fries and pop with it you're fine. Diet pop can replace the regular pop just fine.

Re:I'll die happy (1)

sjames (1099) | about 2 years ago | (#41178845)

Bacon that is a least 50% fat and high in salt.

So when you eat it you feel full and don't tend to stuff your face with carbs all day. If you're not in the 10-20% who are salt sensitive, it doesn't matter how salty bacon is.

Cheap high fat ground beef.

Still on the fat thing?

Cheese that is likely Velveeta with trans fat.

That's the last thing I would put on a burger. Howsabout a nice gouda or chedder?

White bread that will trash your blood sugar levels.

So get whole wheat buns if you prefer.

Re:I'll die happy (5, Informative)

crmarvin42 (652893) | about 2 years ago | (#41179267)

Cooked bacon is about 38-40% fat and 38% protein [usda.gov] , and Wendy's Baconator still provides almost half of its calories from carbohydrates [wendys.com] .
Most of the fat in cheap ground beef it lost during the cooking process so that even 70% lean beef is only 15-18% fat after cooking [usda.gov]
A 1 ounce serving (28g) of Velveeta contains less than 0.01 g of trans fat [self.com] (the lower threshold for listing)
Most americans are not diabetic [diabetes.org]

As someone who is professionally employed as a nutritionist and has a Ph.D. in the science, I have to say that this:

There's pretty much something there to sabotage everyone's digestive system and metabolic balance.

is completely meaningless.

There is a lot of FUD being spread around about various types of food, and a lot of misinformation about nutrition in general. Eating at a fast-food joint every day is probably going to be unhealthy depending on what you order, assuming you have a daily caloric expenditure that is close to the 2,000/d that the government bases its recommendations on. However, it is more important that your diet match your activity level, than that you avoid specific foods or food groups. As an illustrative example, Michael Phelps consumes 12,000 calories/d when training [michaelphelps.net] . He is obviously a statistical outlier, but that is partially my point. The maintenance energy requirement for every person is different, and very much dependent upon that persons activity level. Their is nothing inherently bad about any of the ingredients in a triple bacon cheeseburger, nor with the final product. It is when such calorie dense meals are consumed in excess of your calorie expenditure that they start to cause problems.

Re:I'll die happy (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#41179485)

There's pretty much something there to sabotage everyone's digestive system and metabolic balance.

Nope.

Bacon that is a least 50% fat and high in salt.
Cheap high fat ground beef.
Cheese that is likely Velveeta with trans fat.
White bread that will trash your blood sugar levels.

I'm thin and have low to normal blood pressure. I'm immune to salt and fat, and thin people seldom get diabetes. Not all of us are huge fatasses, some of us NEED that salt and fat.

Re:I'll die happy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41178373)

I lost 35lbs, raised my HDL to over 60, and lowered my blood pressure to 110/70 using a high fat, ketogenic diet. Your point was?

Re:I'll die happy (4, Informative)

iONiUM (530420) | about 2 years ago | (#41178397)

You're quite right. lo carb hi fat [locarbhifat.com] diet is also what I use, and I have also had success in lowering my weight, and keeping off mild hypertension. It's extremely sad that people think fat is the what is making them unhealthy.

Re:I'll die happy (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41178517)

It's a shortage of protein, an abundance of calories, and most importantly an utter absence of exercise keeping people unhealthy. Your body has vast mechanisms in place to convert fats to sugars and vice versa, which is why too much fat can lead to diabetes just as easily as too much sugar can.

Get off your lazy ass, get sufficient protein, keep your other calories under control, and it doesn't matter much if they come from carbs or fat.

Re:I'll die happy (3, Interesting)

stupid_pygmy (2495676) | about 2 years ago | (#41178949)

The (left-leaning, liberal, etc.) nytimes has an interesting article on this. A recent study comparing the Hazda people that follow a hunter-gatherer lifestyle with a lot of exercise, show that they burned similar amounts of calories to many more sedentary people. It's unclear that just increasing exercise will reduce someone's weight. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/26/opinion/sunday/debunking-the-hunter-gatherer-workout.html [nytimes.com]

Re:I'll die happy (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41179115)

Ermahgerd! Teh liburals! Dey's out to getcha! BooOooOoOoO!

Re:I'll die happy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41179195)

Many diet trials have shown that calorie restriction does not work, and excessive exercise also does not work.

All diets will somewhat work, only due to slightly reduced carbohydrate and sugar intake. If people were to cut it to 50g a day, they would experience easy weight loss, without hunger or calorie restriction.

Re:I'll die happy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41179213)

It's not just "reducing weight". I was more or less at the same weight when I didn't exercise. But my body fat percentage was higher, I had very little muscle mass, and my cardiovascular endurance was garbage. My quality of life was immesurably improved through exercise, and I look a hell of a lot better too.

Once you're out of the "obese" range it stops being about how much mass you consist of.

Re:I'll die happy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41179309)

When there is high correlation between fat and unhealthy, no?

Re:I'll die happy (1)

Rolgar (556636) | about 2 years ago | (#41179481)

You might watch the movie Fathead (a counter Supersize Me), or check out marksdailyapple.com

According to the Fathead movie, the initial science concerning fat and obesity involved a 'scientist' starting with the fat intake and obesity levels, and picking a only a few points that would give a high correlation and dropping the rest of the data points that would have proven no correlation.

From there, most studies of problems with fat have been behavioral studies that ask the participants to report from memory their eating habits. And there has been no attempt to have two vegan groups, with some having grains and another group grain free, compared with a group on a high vegetable and meat but no grain diet, and another on a calorie restriction. And once you do this, you also need to control for smoking, alcohol, and exercise (after all, if your low carb participants don't exercise and smoke, how do we know that their outcome is caused by diet and not other bad habits?). Once do all of that, you will have a study that will show a true picture of which is better, low fat or low carb or calorie restriction.

Re:I'll die happy (5, Insightful)

sa666u (2626427) | about 2 years ago | (#41178245)

Provided that eating is the only thing that makes you happy. I used to think just like you but at some point your body starts giving up and your life gets miserable despite the feasts.

Re:I'll die happy (2)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#41179113)

I used to think just like you but at some point your body starts giving up and your life gets miserable despite the feasts.

That's so, but it's going to happen sooner or later anyway, unless you get run over by a bus or something. And at age 60 it doesn't seem like any more time has passed in my life than it seemed at 30. The older you get, the faster time goes.

The study showed that being skinny doesn't prolong life, but it didn't show the obesity doesn't shorten it.

Re:I'll die happy (5, Informative)

Physician (861339) | about 2 years ago | (#41178303)

That is not an option according to the research. You will die at the same time as the skinny guy but will acquire age related diseases sooner so the skinny guy will enjoy a larger percentage of his life outside the nursing home, hospital and doctor's office.

Re:I'll die happy (5, Insightful)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | about 2 years ago | (#41178317)

I'd rather be fat and die early having eaten the things I liked, than old, skinny and never enjoyed a triple bacon burger with extra cheese.

Is your life about only food? If that's the only thing you enjoy, then by all means yours the philosophy to live by.

In addition, nothing says you can't enjoy these foods - the key is moderation. Don't glut yourself.

It seems a common misunderstanding when it comes to "limiting caloric intake" is that you can never eat anything "bad for you"; but I think it's far more important that you don't eat a) nothing *but* 'bad for you', or b) unlimited quantites of the same.

Have a slice of pizza and a soda. Don't have half a pie and a two liter bottle of soda, and don't eat the pizza every night. Pretty simple.

Re:I'll die happy (4, Interesting)

crmarvin42 (652893) | about 2 years ago | (#41178443)

I think the unstated implication that comes from comparing the two long running studies on this in Rhesus Monkeys is that it's not so much that calorie restriction v maintenance requirement extends your life, but that caloric intake above maintenance shortens it. The key is in the differences between the two "non-restricted" treatments used I the different studies.

One used ad Libitum access to feed (eat as much as you want) and saw a benefit to restricting by 30% vs maintenance requirement. The other used maintenance v 30% restriction and saw no difference. Seems to me the two Positive Control treatments are what really should be compared (all other things being equal).

-A Nutritionist

Re:I'll die happy (3, Interesting)

jedidiah (1196) | about 2 years ago | (#41178471)

An alternative is for him to get off of his fat ass and burn off the junk food. However, that actually requires work and effort and as such will be the last option that any American suggest.

It's not an easy enough solution. It doesn't shrink wrap well enough.

Moderation helps too.

The problem with pizza is mainly cultural. It is perceived as a binge food. Many people with dire fatness issues binge on junk and then are puzzled why they are medically obese.

Re:I'll die happy (5, Informative)

PPalmgren (1009823) | about 2 years ago | (#41178541)

Most of the other fun things in life do not favor the restricted calorie intake, so its kind of a moot point unless you enjoy a sedentary lifestyle. As someone whose experienced how the body feels on the level of restricted calories required to trigger the effect that's been studied, its a life of lethargy and lack of energy. I used to eat twice a day, under 1000 calories, and my bodily functions followed (don't have a bowel movement but once every couple days, don't get hungry, etc). The side effects were I could barely work out hard for 20 minutes and couldn't enjoy outdoor activities because I simply didn't have the energy, wanting to sleep upwards of 12 hours a day when feasible. Now that I eat 5 times a day, my body is fully rested on 7 hours and I can enjoy a full day of activity.

Granted, I loved the low calorie method when I was getting all my giggles from gaming and relaxing, but now that I've had the drive to do more it just doesn't work for me. I expect this is the same for parents as well, the key factor being time. To have the energy needed to be active and function on lesser amounts of sleep, a higher metabolism lifestyle is almost a requirement.

Re:I'll die happy (1)

dpilot (134227) | about 2 years ago | (#41178841)

A while back I read of someone doing the calorie restriction thing like you, with the same energy-level results. If the calorie restriction is stopping you from doing the things you enjoy and want to do, something is wrong. At the time, it seemed to me to be, "half a life, lived twice as long."

I'm glad you seem to have reached a happier operating point.

Re:I'll die happy (1)

trout007 (975317) | about 2 years ago | (#41179259)

Just curious if you are a man or a woman?

I am a man and I have had enormous success with daily fasting. From when I wake up to about 6pm I consume about 100-200 calories. (usually consists of fruit, veggies or coffee and cream. Then for dinner I eat whatever the hell I want and as much as I want to feel full. I've estimated based weighing and online tables a few times and it comes out to between 1000-1500 calories.

I have gone from 215 lbs to 165 lbs in 8 months. In addition I am able to work out more since I'm not carrying around an extra 50 lbs. In reality I didn't work out at all until I lost the first 25 lbs or so because I was tired while I was adjusting to the new lifestyle.

I tried the many small meals and it just didn't work out for me mentally knowing I couldn't have a big meal. Now all day I can get hungry looking forward to that one nice meal without regret.

Re:I'll die happy (1)

fl!ptop (902193) | about 2 years ago | (#41179449)

As someone whose experienced how the body feels on the level of restricted calories required to trigger the effect that's been studied, its a life of lethargy and lack of energy. I used to eat twice a day, under 1000 calories, and my bodily functions followed (don't have a bowel movement but once every couple days, don't get hungry, etc). The side effects were I could barely work out hard for 20 minutes and couldn't enjoy outdoor activities because I simply didn't have the energy, wanting to sleep upwards of 12 hours a day when feasible.

Then you're doing it wrong. [marksdailyapple.com]

Re:I'll die happy (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#41178611)

Eating well is no guarantee. My dad ate almost nothing but vegetables, chicken, and fish for his entire adult life, and still died of a heart attack at age 53. He didn't do it for heart disease though, he did it for MS which remained in remission for the rest of his life.(whether the diet actually had anything to do with that, who knows?) But I think the point stands. If you can avoid saturated fats for 30 years and keel over from a heart attack, what's the point of avoiding saturated fats?

Re:I'll die happy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41178863)

What's the point? Nothing, unless you believe in science. Oh and are capable of understanding basic statistics.

Re:I'll die happy (2)

dpilot (134227) | about 2 years ago | (#41178891)

There was a guy here at work who exercised, ran, biked like a son-of-a-gun. He died one day of a heart attack, biking to work, at the age of 73. Not a bad span, but not great.

But then again, he came from a long paternal line that died of heart attacks by 50 or so. He really did well, after all. I heard somewhere that the biggest factor in a long life is choosing the right parents. Lifestyle (diet, exercise) is second, modern medicine is fourth or a distant third, or some such.

Re:I'll die happy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41179045)

But, that's the benefit. Experience death induced illness or disability for as short a time as possible. The alternative, which seems much more common, is to live years immobile, in pain and on life prolonging prescriptions.

Re:I'll die happy (1)

Havenwar (867124) | about 2 years ago | (#41179513)

Hmm, well, easy enough to answer. Let's play russian roulette! I'll play with one bullet, and you play with three.

Not that I avoid saturated fats or live a particularly healthy life, I'm just pointing out your argument is full of holes.

Re:I'll die happy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41178713)

And then you'll be sure to live long enough to waste away with Alzheimers.

Re:I'll die happy (4, Interesting)

avandesande (143899) | about 2 years ago | (#41178735)

Not to mention that like alcohol, smoking or pretty much anything else there are diminishing returns on enjoyment. Moderation actually improves most experiences.

Re:I'll die happy (1)

Magada (741361) | about 2 years ago | (#41178335)

You can eat anything and still maintain a low-calorie diet on a reasonable timescale.

The simplest (not easiest, simplest) way to do this is to fast. You eat, then you don't for a while, then you eat again.

As an experiment, let yourself grow good and hungry before your next meal (I'm not talking about the first pangs here, those disappear in an hour or so, I mean actual hunger). You'd be surprised how long that takes.

Re:I'll die happy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41179441)

When you fast you put your body into a form of starvation. When you eventually do eat, your body stores as much of that as possible, because it thinks it is starving.

You need to eat numerous (four or five) small (I mean small here people) meals a day.

That is how you keep energy up, but reduce weight. You just gave people some seriously bad advise.

Disclaimer: Everyone is different, please get advise from your medical professional, and not from me or anyone else on /.

Re:I'll die happy (5, Insightful)

neorush (1103917) | about 2 years ago | (#41178361)

I really hope this is a joke, because the thing is you probably won't die early, instead you'll be propped up by whatever health care system you're under at a ridiculous cost to everyone else. I can also pretty much guarantee you won't want to eat that triple bacon burger with extra cheese after dialysis or chemotherapy because the diet you describe increases your chance of all these problems dramatically. After working with obese folks for years now I can tell you that the last 10 or so years of their lives are not only not enjoyable, they are down right miserable, and expensive as well.
I didn't read TFA but I wonder if this study consider the quality of those calories, e.g. in America we try and diet by eating one cheeseburger instead of two, of course we could have eaten 5 apples instead, been full and satisfied, and gotten some nutrition as well.

Re:I'll die happy (3, Interesting)

BStroms (1875462) | about 2 years ago | (#41178691)

I didn't read TFA but I wonder if this study consider the quality of those calories, e.g. in America we try and diet by eating one cheeseburger instead of two, of course we could have eaten 5 apples instead, been full and satisfied, and gotten some nutrition as well.

Who would want to eat five apples in one sitting? Even if I were hungry, I'd probably just stop at one and wait till the next meal. At least pick a more appealing fruit like an orange.

But seriously, I dropped from 205 pounds to 170 and have kept it off for years with virtually exercise and with the only change to what I'm consuming being that I never buy any beverages with calories. Mostly stick to water with some diet pop on occasion. Other than that, I just cut back portions and eliminated snacking between meals.

Funny thing is, I motivate myself to diet with food. I have a very strict rule that I never eat out/order in unless I'm below 170 pounds. Then I'll get whatever food I want and have one meal where I eat without restraint. After that, I have to diet off whatever I gained and repeat the process. Keeps me happy, and sure beats going vegetarian and/or spending hours a week in the gym.

Re:I'll die happy (2)

archen (447353) | about 2 years ago | (#41179001)

Who would want to eat five apples in one sitting? Even if I were hungry, I'd probably just stop at one and wait till the next meal. At least pick a more appealing fruit like an orange.

It sounds like you've never had a good apple. I agree that the supermarket ones are disgusting (bland), but if you're lucky enough to live in a place where you can get them in season locally, they're very good. I think one of the problems America has, is that supermarket produce tastes terrible .. but it looks nice. I've been surprised when traveling abroad how much better plain food tastes. Over here we have to slather food in sauces just to make it edible.

The following is a joke, FYI (4, Funny)

gman003 (1693318) | about 2 years ago | (#41179365)

Stupid Apple fanboy...

Re:I'll die happy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41178445)

Of course the article does say that you'd die "happy" after a longer period of ill-health than the calorie-restricted option - where you live longer, and you are actually able to enjoy those extra years.

And to be honest what people want is to have as long a "health-span" as possible, and as short a "suffering in pain" span after that.

Re:I'll die happy (1)

daem0n1x (748565) | about 2 years ago | (#41178501)

I've seen way to many people living decades of miserable lives because of the abuse of food, alcohol and tobacco and low exercise. You won't be young forever, you know? And you won't die that soon, too.

Re:I'll die happy (1)

mapkinase (958129) | about 2 years ago | (#41178637)

Wholeheartedly agree, except for the bacon part (I am a Muslim), but I think that a weight/knee relation is understated in current anti-weight propaganda. It's all about heart disease.

My heart is just fine with my 200 pounds, it's my knees that react strongly to the extra weight. For me it's either enjoy goat karahi or enjoy walking.

Re:I'll die happy (1)

leuk_he (194174) | about 2 years ago | (#41178651)

Hmm, the excuse of the happy smoker.

I bet you would like to retract that statement if you find out how valuable your health is. The sad part is that you only find this out when you lost your health.

Re:I'll die happy (1)

1u3hr (530656) | about 2 years ago | (#41178721)

'd rather be fat and die early having eaten the things I liked, than old, skinny and never enjoyed a triple bacon burger with extra cheese.

"Never"? The study is about diet restriction, reducing the amount of food. You can still eat pretty much anything, just not so much or as frequently.

A friend of mine was "morbidly obese" -- basically like "Fat Bastard". He had a stomach reduction and lost 2/3 of his weight. He still enjoys eating well and drinks wine, but in moderation. He was headed for a very unpleasant old age, probably would have lost his mobility by the time he was 60 but now he 's healthy and active and has a few decades of enjoyable life ahead of him.

Re:I'll die happy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41178791)

I live in Japan and one of the main reasons I stuck around was the food. Triple bacon burger with extra cheese actually doesn't sound that good, not when compared to tonkatsu made by the japanese version of the soup nazi. Or any of the other amazing stuff you can get here.

Re:I'll die happy (1)

ethanms (319039) | about 2 years ago | (#41178831)

You could always exercise, die skinny & fit, still having eaten your cheeseburgers ...just sayin' is all...

Re:I'll die happy (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 2 years ago | (#41179473)

Or in my case, eat triple bacon cheeseburgers (on occasion), eat snacks before and after eating meals, gorge at the occasional buffet, and remain skinny while enjoying anything I eat.

Re:I'll die happy (1)

SmegginHell (1519509) | about 2 years ago | (#41179553)

That's a bit of a false dichotomy. You can live to be old and skinny while having enjoyed the occasional triple bacon burger with extra cheese. If you make it a regular part of your diet than you may die fat and early.

CR changes why rats die (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41178177)

If you looks at the CR/longevity studies, it turns out that most of the ad-lib fed rats die of kidney failure, where the CR rats die of cardiovascular, neoplasty, and other causes. I suspect that standard rat chow is very good for turning baby rats into big rats, but maybe not so good at maintaining an adult rat.

Uhm, health span? (1)

GeekWithAKnife (2717871) | about 2 years ago | (#41178191)

Well, if it makes people healthier, will being healthier not increase lifespan?

Re:Uhm, health span? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41178229)

try reading again

Re:Uhm, health span? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41178255)

again?

Re:Uhm, health span? (2)

Chrisq (894406) | about 2 years ago | (#41178237)

Well, if it makes people healthier, will being healthier not increase lifespan?

Not necessarily, you might just be fitter and live the same length of time

Re:Uhm, health span? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41178243)

It didn't do that for the monkeys.
Jeez, don't you even RTFS?

Re:Uhm, health span? (2)

gtirloni (1531285) | about 2 years ago | (#41178265)

A healthier (happier?) life does not translate to increase lifespan.

Even then, the prospect of having a better life (if not a longer one) seems good enough to try it.

Re:Uhm, health span? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41178343)

Not necessarily if the onset of what kills you happens very rapidly - then you can be perfectly healthy up until that point and then you suddenly develop issues and die quickly. That would be in contrast to slowly wasting away while still being alive for a long time.

Curious about Olympians (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41178267)

Olympic atheletes consume unbelievable calories but exercise like crazy. They don't do it their whole lives, but I'd be curious to know what the outcome is for individuals who have an atheletic youth. Actually, it would probably be better to do such a study on people who are simply avid exercisers as opposed to the very top tier. It's a more common condition and less likely to have outliers like doping. Do you get better health from high calorie, high exercise or does the body wear out from processing so much fuel?

Re:Curious about Olympians (2)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 2 years ago | (#41178315)

Elite athletes have decreased life spans, although I don't think it's known precisely why. It would be difficult to study regular people because you'd have to know both what kind of exercise they got and what they ate over long periods of time.

Re:Curious about Olympians (2)

tylikcat (1578365) | about 2 years ago | (#41178421)

Some of these studies have been done (well, somewhat - studies are hard and expensive, so most things are done "somewhat".)

From recollection, if you look at places where people live the longest, one of the things that is typical is that they have moderate and consistent amounts of exercise throughout their lives - not crazy high amounts, which at some point get associated with an increased risk of ill effects. (That having been said, there's some interested research about people with certain kinds of spine injuries having the best outcomes if they do high impact rather than low impact exercise. Er, which I'd been doing to deal with spine issues since before the research was done, so it made me feel a little less crazy.)

The other point of interest is that studies have been done contrasting the health outcomes (not longevity outcomes - that would be long and expensive) of people doing fairly serious CR (25% calorie reduction, IIRC) contrasted with people doing increased exercise and less severe CR (12.5%) and the outcomes were pretty similar - so by that study, at least, exercise substitutes pretty well.

If anyone particularly cares, I can dig up the references.

Working fine for me (1)

Thrupp (1710806) | about 2 years ago | (#41178275)

I've been following this diet 3 days on and 4 days off for 3 weeks and it's doing fine so far. On the off days I eat what I usually would, plus a bit more and weight has been falling off of me. I also feel more energetic and my wife deifinitely approves. It may or may not extend life but I'm losing weight and feeling healthier. I'm hoping this diet will delay the onset of the diseases of a prosperous old age (obesity, diabetes, heart disease etc.) for a good long time.

Resistance to infection (2)

Chrisq (894406) | about 2 years ago | (#41178285)

When I read about calorific restriction years ago one comment was "more study is needed to assess the impact of restricted diets on resistance to infection and recovery from disease". Historically it has been people with poverty-restricted diets that tended to die at an early age from TB, influenza, etc. Obviously there is a big difference between a poverty-restricted diet and a calorie restricted diet that is tailored to supply the necessary variety, micro-nutrients, and vitamins - but there is still a possibility that those on restricted diets could live a healthier life until they are wiped out by an infection. Does anyone know whether further study has been made in this area?

Re:Resistance to infection (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41178645)

Would be good to have such a study.

But my guess is CR diets that supply the necessary vitamins, protein, minerals, fibre won't weaken the immune system.

I even suspect that not eating so often would be better for the immune system. The immune system tends to get involved when you eat. So if you're not eating so much or so often, it can do other stuff. Eating is actually quite a messy, complex and involved process from a metabolic and immune system point of view.

Misleading (5, Insightful)

joh (27088) | about 2 years ago | (#41178299)

This study proves that further calorie restriction doesn't extend the lifespan compared to an already healthy diet. *Both* though extend the lifespan compared to eating enough to become obese.

I'm just saying this because there'll be enough people who will take this as a prove that over-eating is fine. It isn't.

By the way, a diet consisting of all the fruits, vegetables and meat you can eat is totally fine. It's very hard to become obese when you avoid sugars, starch and other carbohydrates. Sadly, almost everything ready-made you can buy is full to the brim of these.

Re:Misleading (5, Interesting)

crmarvin42 (652893) | about 2 years ago | (#41178617)

Very True! Wish I had mod points.

There are two longitudinal monkey trials on calorie restriction, and they differ in what exactly the CR diet is compared to. One is verses a diet formulated to meet, but not exceed maintenance energy requirement, but the other is versus free-choice (which allows over eating). The first (the one cited above) shows no benefit, but the other shows remarkable benefit. Seems clear to me that it's the over eating that shortens life, not restriction that elongates it, at least in Rhesus monkeys.

Fat is more energy dense than starch, but it is also more energy intensive to absorb and transport in the body. Starch is absorbed almost energy free, but fat needs to be broken down every time it crosses a membrane and that takes energy. However, I've seen some pretty fat pigs in research trials as a result of feeding 30% fat (oil, lard, choice white grease, etc.) in the diet. So it CAN be done, but who really wants to essentially be drinking bacon grease.

-A Nutritionist

Re:Misleading (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41178955)

ITT we avoid sugars by eating fruits? /sarcasm ;)

Re:Misleading (1)

joh (27088) | about 2 years ago | (#41179129)

ITT we avoid sugars by eating fruits? /sarcasm ;)

Not completely, but very much as with starch in vegetables there's a natural limit to how much you can eat of it. Compared to "food products" (or beverages!) there's actually not much sugar in fruits.

Not exactly the most rigorous methodology (1)

butchersong (1222796) | about 2 years ago | (#41178307)

So... restricted caloric intake results in your being healthier (less cancer etc.) throughout your life if you're a monkey but being healthier does not correlate to a increased life span? They didn't control for diet between the two groups only calories (groups ate entirely different things not just less) and the group that was healthier had monkeys that originated at least in part from a difference geographical region.

the definition of calories (5, Funny)

robbie73 (2650527) | about 2 years ago | (#41178321)

Calories (noun) - Tiny creatures that live in your closet and sew your clothes a little bit tighter every night.

intermittent fasting (5, Interesting)

rfischer (95276) | about 2 years ago | (#41178341)

It might turn out that it's not caloric restriction that's important, but periodic fasting.

There is research showing that even if you keep your overall food intake (and body weight) constant, but **fast on alternate days**, you can improve blood glucose and insulin levels

Check it:
http://www.pnas.org/content/100/10/6216.full

Re:intermittent fasting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41179579)

I did that for a while. I was miserable. After several months, my body still didn't get accustomed to going without food for 24 hours. My stomach never shrank because every other day it had to accommodate three full-sized meals. The other days I was miserably hungry for about 12 of those 24 hours.

Roy Walford 120 year diet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41178399)

The study seems to confirm anecdotally what happened to Roy Walford. On the other hand, the study seems less complete that desirable, if I understand TFA. The fatties were fed a high sugar diet. While that may represent the typical US diet, it would have been nice to see another fattie test group (over-supplied?) with a healthful diet.

Oh yeah? Eat this!!!1!2 (0)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 2 years ago | (#41178465)

I remember when the mice study came out. "Mice live 50% longer! You might live to 150!" and the guy, bald IIRC, started himself on a lo-cal diet.

Mice lived 3 years instead of 2. Did it greatly extend their lives, or did it just add a year? Now we know.

That researcher must have gotten scared when it turned out underweight people had shorter lives than normal, and normal had shorter lives than overweight (but not obese).

Then there was the other scientist who went on the Twinkie and Cheeseburger diet, but half-calorie, and his BP, blood sugar, blood lipids, and so on all went down to normal.

Food is chemicals is drugs. You wanna take tiny pills to compensate for pills the size of hamburgers and plates of spaghetti.

Religious prosecution ends here... (1)

sinij (911942) | about 2 years ago | (#41178477)

I am observant Hedonist, and I am glad that science finally stopped this assault on my religious freedoms.

Need an exact breakdown of the diets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41178487)

The TFA points out that the control group was on a questionably different diet. I haven't dug any further.

The test I would run would use a low net carb diet that's entirely grain free. Ditching so-called "wheat" would be first, followed by all simple sugars (starting with fructose, other than what's naturally in any raw fruits).

Were any of the monkeys on a commercial monkey feed?
Does that feed contain modern dwarf hybrid wheat, the unexamined mutant monster wreaking havok with human health?
If so, the results are not even inconclusive.

Woo hoo....pass the bacon! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41178489)

Woo hoo....pass the bacon!

Who restricts calories for longer lifespan? (1)

mapkinase (958129) | about 2 years ago | (#41178543)

I don't. I have to restrict them, because my knees are very sensitive to even extra pound. It's the matter of limping or not, not a lifespan.

alternative wording (1)

udachny (2454394) | about 2 years ago | (#41178619)

Alternatively you can reword this finding like so: overeating causes health problems, so don't.

YUO F8AIL IT (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41178803)

juggeRnaut eithEr On baby...don't

Calories aren't all created equal (1)

judoguy (534886) | about 2 years ago | (#41178805)

It's not the caloric count nearly as much as the source of those calories. http://www.amazon.com/Good-Calories-Bad-Controversial-Science/dp/1400033462/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1346340153&sr=1-1&keywords=good+calories+bad+calories [amazon.com]

I lost 40 lbs in about a year by reducing starchy carb calories and increasing fat calories and so have a bunch of my friends. It works.

Re:Calories aren't all created equal (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 2 years ago | (#41179225)

This sort of thing works differently for different people.

That's why I think of a cheap burger as a perfect storm.

It has all of the refined carbs and zero fiber for the Atkins types and all of that grease and fat for the non-Atkins types. Plus it has a little bit of lactose for the lactose intolerant and some gratuitous trans fat for good measure.

Quality vs quantity? (1)

wcrowe (94389) | about 2 years ago | (#41178901)

This is not surprising news. The lifespan may not be increased, but the quality of life may be better. The example that comes to my mind (I use it because it's the only one I know anything about) are the monks on Mt. Athos. At most of the monasteries they eat two modest meals per day which are mostly vegetarian (they do eat fish on certain days). The monks are typically in great health and maladies such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes are very rare, so their quality of life is pretty good. Nevertheless, most die at the typical time, around 80 years of age.

Been a Vegetarian 24 years. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41178985)

I don't feel I sacrifice (literally) a thing. My 'gorging out' experience is better than it was when I ate 'against myself'. I get to gorge out on enriched seitan, tempeh, nut based proteins, diverse beans, chutneys, curries, lasagne, tabouleh and heaps of greens. I haven't knowingly eaten animal parts once in the entire time. Taste buds can be changed. Bacon might as well smell like carpet now, chicken like acetone and chocolate - well it's just not attractive any more. Coke burns by gut. It's all just not stuff I would put into my body. Offer a piece of raw meat to any baby and they'll reject it. It needs the technology of fire before a baby will consider eating it... unlike predators. We've learned to prepare and eat this stuff.

I'm fit, lean, physically strong and almost never sick. Aside from riding my bike I don't exercise at all. It just comes to what you eat. It's the KISS solution - no diets, careful planning. Just got to learn to cook.

Calorie Restriction May Cure Cancer (2)

freality (324306) | about 2 years ago | (#41179031)

"the team found that none of the Maryland monkeys that started calorie restriction when they were young have developed cancer."

Fat is ok now? (1)

vawwyakr (1992390) | about 2 years ago | (#41179171)

The problem is that people read the headline thinking, oh ok now being overweight isn't a problem. In fact that is exactly what my morning new people said on the air today! They're not saying being fat is fine now or that restricting calories will not help you lose weight. They're talking about the theory proposed based on mouse studies that restricting calories down to near starvation levels made the mice live long because it triggered some biological functions that served to allow adults to survive through periods of poor food supply. People here on Slashdot probably get it but people watching the news this morning stuffing themselves with their third McBacon sandwich now thinks they are just fine.

Singularity fail (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | about 2 years ago | (#41179445)

Dashing the hopes of legions of skinny Slashdotters who had been keeping themselves in optimal physical condition for the arrival of the Singularity.

I had burgers and beer last night out of sheer anguish and not because that's the kind of crap most of us here would be eating anyway.

Just like it's cool to be gay, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41179475)

one day it'll be cool to be fat and we will hear about "food intake orientation". You got the nerve to tell me I need to eat better? YOU'RE A FATOPHOBE!
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