Researchers are wondering whether a calorie restriction diet could actually increase longevity as recent studies on monkeys seem to indicate.
CR or calorie restriction is a new dietary regimen. It should help reduce the calorie intake. But is should do so without harming the body through malnutrition. It should also not incur the essential nutrients intake.
This dietary regimen has been seen to work. It supposedly helps by decelerating the natural and biological aging process. Previous tests showed its effectiveness for dogs and rodents. And also fish, to name just a few of the benefited species.
And now, a new result will be added to the list. Scientists have just finished a long-term monkey study. This latter showed the calorie restriction diet’s effects on the species. It is one of the two such long-term studies on nonhuman primates.
CR effects on the primates have caused quite a lot of controversies. The two studies had somewhat conflicting results. University of Wisconsin researchers were involved in one of the studies. National Institute on Aging ones in the other.
The University of Wisconsin study revealed its results in 2009. The National Institute released interim results in 2012. Now, the two have joined and commpared them.
Both NIA and Wisconsin University scientists joined forces. The results of their new analysis were released earlier this week. A paper was published in the Nature Communications journal. It was titled as follows. “Caloric restriction improves health and survival of rhesus monkeys”.
Both of the studies began in the late 90’s. They are based on rhesus monkeys. And now, the researchers know why the studies had different results. It was due to the difference in age. Some of the monkeys were put on a calorie restriction diet when they were still young. Others were put at an adult age.
Still, the results are more conclusive now. And they established that calorie restriction did, in fact, increase their longevity. It also improved their general health.
Four of the NIA study monkeys reached their 40’s. The species typically lives up to 30 years old. Both studies had two monkey groups. One was put on a calorie restriction diet. The other was a control group.
CR males were seen to live 2 years more than their control group counterparts. Female specimens with a CR diet lived 6 years longer than control group ones. The control group monkeys could eat whatever they wanted.
Wisconsin University findings also revealed the following. Female monkeys are less susceptible to excess fat side effects. Males are more predisposed to them.
Both studies went to agree on some facts. A calorie restriction diet can be useful. However, it does depend on some factors. These include, at least for primates, the age, and gender. Such elements should be taken into consideration.
Studies showed that CR can beneficial for adult or older specimens. However, it is not as useful for the younger monkeys. This element was seen to differ according to species.
Food intake was also seen to make a difference. The food quantity can lead to different results. NIA monkeys ate less than the Wisconsin ones. Still, they had an improved survival rate. However, the food intake should be carefully determined.
Researchers also noted other gender differences. For example, the insulin sensitivity. And the adverse reactions to adiposity. These latter offer a new insight on the matter.
Although the rhesus monkey debate seems to have been settled, questions do remain. Some of the answers offered by the studies are quite significant. Still, scientists are unsure whether they could apply to humans as well.
As such, a consensus has yet to be reached on the effectiveness of the calorie restriction diet.
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