Cutting Calories Slows Aging Process
While they’ve yet to discover the fountain of youth, researchers say they’ve stumbled upon the next best thing: a way to slow the aging process in healthy adults. In a study published in Thursday’s issue of Nature Aging, researchers with the National Institute on Aging revealed that a calorie-restricted diet can delay aging. “The main take-home of our study is that it is possible to slow the pace of biological aging,” says lead author Dan Belsky, assistant professor of epidemiology at Columbia University. “And that it may be possible to achieve that slowing through modification of lifestyle and behavior.” For the two-year study, researchers cut the intake of calories in participants by 25 percent, Belsky says. Although participants ended up cutting an average of only 12 percent, that was more than enough to produce results, says Belsky’s associate, Dr. Evan Hadley. Using an algorithm as a predictor, researchers found the participants’ rates of aging slowed by 2-to-3 percent, Hadley says. “We all have the power to change the trajectories of aging,” Belsky says.