In the video, you'll discover what the latest scientific research says about dieting for longevity and long term health.
Eric Ravussin, Ph.D. – Calorie Restriction, Longevity & Hormesis
Summary of the video
Until 2 years ago, there almost hasn’t been any research about the caloric restriction on 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 tests on animals, the National Institute on Aging considered it was time to start running studies on humans.
Dr. Eric Ravussin, Ph.D., and his team conducted a 2-year-old study including 220 healthy individuals and the results were published in September 2015.
Before this study, most knowledge about the effects of caloric restriction on humans was on overweight or obese people, not on “normal” people.
One group that followed a calorie-restricted diet, consuming 25% fewer calories than what they needed to maintain their weight.
A control group who followed a regular diet to compare results.
For every 2 people on calorie restriction, there was one 1 on the control group.
The main purpose of this study was to see how a diet with calorie restriction affected the resting metabolic rate and the oxidative stress associated with it.
When your body uses oxygen to oxidize carbs, fats, and proteins in order 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 harm 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 quantities and you suffer less aging and cell damage.
So basically, if you lower your metabolism, you could probably slow aging.
The main question to answer was if with a calorie-restricted diet we can reduce the metabolic rate enough to lower the production of these ROS and slow the damage they make to our fats, proteins and particularly to our DNA and slow aging.
The results showed that the metabolic rate decreased much more than what it could expect from all the weight they lost.
The resting metabolism of the people in the study got much lower than expected.
The medical tests run on these people showed signs of slower aging, a decrease of cellular 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 it also opens up the possibility of delaying the presence of diseases in healthy people.
For example: if on average, most people get diabetes when they turn 55, we could delay it so diabetes appears when they turn 75
In the past, periods of abundance and feasting were combined with times of scarcity and even famine.
Nowadays we have an oversupply of calorie-rich foods.
If we reduce a lot our calorie intake we can benefit from the process of hormesis.
Hormesis is a phenomenon in which the exposure to a mild stressor can give us beneficial effects.
For example, when you have a cold shower, your immune system gets activated and becomes stronger.
Following this example, a mild lack of food can help our bodies become healthier and stronger.
In order to do it, we can try intermittent fasting.
Studies have shown that IF helps upregulate biological processes like glucose metabolism and autophagy (a natural, destructive mechanism that disassembles unnecessary or dysfunctional cellular components).
How to implement this:
- Occasionally skip a meal
- Try leangains Intermittent Fasting
- Try Alternate day fasting
However, this can also be a double-edged sword because extreme fasting can reduce levels of energy, muscle mass, and bone-density.
It's about finding a happy middle between benefits from fasting and a balanced diet.
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