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Calorie Restriction Enhances Lifespan

About 80 years ago, scientists discovered the benefits of calorie restriction (CR).  It is the only proven method for life extension. It acts as a life stressor and activates sirtuin genes because the body realizes food scarcity and revs up its defensive responses to boost survival. Sirtuins are a family of genes that manage the body’s defenses during hard and stressful times. They are also known as the ‘housekeeping’ genes.

When sirtuins “up-regulate” due to calorie restriction, they respond by enacting cellular repair, energy production, programmed cell death and DNA repair. CR means reducing your calorie intake by 30–40% and avoiding malnutrition by taking in plenty of nutrient-rich organic whole foods and hydrating well.

In animal studies, those that were calorie-restricted lived longer and were healthier than their counterparts. In studies, CR increased life expectancy by over 30%! This is because CR improves insulin sensitivity, improves carbohydrate metabolism and increases mitochondrial function, and so helps fight obesity, inflammation and diabetes by burning stored fats and sugars, and releasing abundant energy.

In 2014, after studying the Japanese Okinawan diet, the University of Wisconsin did their own study. Okinawans follow a modest calorie restriction diet, limiting calories by only 11%, and have averaged the longest recorded life spans in the world! They experience less heart disease, diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. The University of Washington did their CR study on adult monkeys, only mildly calorie-restricting them. They found that the animals with a regular diet had a 2.9 times greater rate of death from age-related causes than the calorie-restricted animals. This also showed that starting a CR diet at any point in life still provides significant benefits. CR diet, quercetin, resveratrol and NAD+ all increase sirtuin activity.

CR is doing done best by following the three-fourths rule. Only eat three-fourths of your meal.

Benefits of Calorie Restriction (CR)

Following are benefits of following a calorie restriction diet.

  • Activates sirtuin genes
  • Restores and extends telomere length
  • Lowers body fat
  • Bolsters insulin sensitivity
  • Reduces inflammation, especially neurotoxins
  • Increases HGH release
  • Increases mitochondrial function
  • Improves energy

To essentially Grow Younger, we need to eat fewer calories as we grow in age.

To health and happiness ~
Gowri Rocco, M.D.

Gowri Reddy Rocco, M.D., M.S., is double board-certified in Family Medicine and in Regenerative, Anti-Aging and Functional Medicine. She has been practicing medicine for almost 20 years and is Founder and President of Optimum Wellness & Longevity in Corona, California.