T Nation

Calorie Restriction & Longevity


A piece for the rather-live-longer-than-bulkier crowd:

Calorie Restriction:

[quote]boroughbred wrote:
A piece for the rather-live-longer-than-bulkier crowd:

Calorie Restriction:

That’s funny. Since when do animal studies translate directly over to humans with no human trials? Further, where are all of the people living to be over 100 years old who don’t eat much? Shouldn’t there be a lot more of those by now?

Interesting article.

[quote]
“Calorie restriction is doomed to fail, and will make people miserable in the process of attempting it,” said Dr. Jay Phelan, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a co-author of the paper.[/quote]

That about sums up my opinion on the issue.

Another interesting study has recently found that trans-resveratrol supplementation stimulated the same metabolic pathways that caused the effects of caloric restriction. Combining both trans-resveratrol and caloric restriction did not yield any additional benefit, as both stimulated the exact same mechanism.

Eat your cake and live long as well.

http://www.brown.edu/Administration/News_Bureau/2004-05/04-002.html

[quote]Professor X wrote:

Further, where are all of the people living to be over 100 years old who don’t eat much? Shouldn’t there be a lot more of those by now?[/quote]

Good point, even more as conversely, there are some family members of mine who have lived past 80 or even 90 years who were overweight for most of their lives and had bad dietary habits.

[quote]michael2507 wrote:
Professor X wrote:

Further, where are all of the people living to be over 100 years old who don’t eat much? Shouldn’t there be a lot more of those by now?

Good point, even more as conversely, there are some family members of mine who have lived past 80 or even 90 years who were overweight for most of their lives and had bad dietary habits.[/quote]

Well, that’s a pretty stupid point. There are always exceptions. That’s why they’re called exceptions. We know that being overweight and having bad dietary habits compromises longevity and in the lucky people in whom it doesn’t still usually decreases quality of life.

It just doesn’t mean that everyone should starve and go through life as a walking skeleton. It means that people should stay healthy and active, eat healthy nutritious foods, and maintain a reasonably low bodyfat.

[quote]jsbrook wrote:
michael2507 wrote:
Professor X wrote:

Further, where are all of the people living to be over 100 years old who don’t eat much? Shouldn’t there be a lot more of those by now?

Good point, even more as conversely, there are some family members of mine who have lived past 80 or even 90 years who were overweight for most of their lives and had bad dietary habits.

Well, that’s a pretty stupid point. There are always exceptions. That’s why they’re called exceptions. We know that being overweight and having bad dietary habits compromises longevity and in the lucky people in whom it doesn’t still usually decreases quality of life.

It just doesn’t mean that everyone should starve and go through life as a walking skeleton. It means that people should stay healthy and active, eat healthy nutritious foods, and maintain a reasonably low bodyfat.[/quote]

Even with that said, if calorie restriction helped out that much, there would be MANY more people walking around who were living over 100 years of age just because they never ate much.

How can anyone skip over something like that? The majority of cases where people do live longer, they were genetic freaks anyway. My great aunt (may be great-great) lived to 112…and she SMOKED. No, that doesn’t mean that smoking makes you live longer. It is just proof that there is much more at work here than simply trying to be as healthy as possible…which really doesn’t mean anything.

What if we later learn that relatively frequent exposure to things that are considered “unhealthy” helps us build a resistance which helps us live longer as long as it is moderated?

I truly believe that concept holds more truth than the one presented by the OP.

Come on. This pic says it all.

I’d rather live to be 80 and have a full life than live to be 120 and be weak, frail and sickly my whole life.

Or maybe this guy is the picture of vitality. Right.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
jsbrook wrote:
michael2507 wrote:
Professor X wrote:

Further, where are all of the people living to be over 100 years old who don’t eat much? Shouldn’t there be a lot more of those by now?

Good point, even more as conversely, there are some family members of mine who have lived past 80 or even 90 years who were overweight for most of their lives and had bad dietary habits.

Well, that’s a pretty stupid point. There are always exceptions. That’s why they’re called exceptions. We know that being overweight and having bad dietary habits compromises longevity and in the lucky people in whom it doesn’t still usually decreases quality of life.

It just doesn’t mean that everyone should starve and go through life as a walking skeleton. It means that people should stay healthy and active, eat healthy nutritious foods, and maintain a reasonably low bodyfat.

Even with that said, if calorie restriction helped out that much, there would be MANY more people walking around who were living over 100 years of age just because they never ate much.

How can anyone skip over something like that? The majority of cases where people do live longer, they were genetic freaks anyway. My great aunt (may be great-great) lived to 112…and she SMOKED. No, that doesn’t mean that smoking makes you live longer. It is just proof that there is much more at work here than simply trying to be as healthy as possible…which really doesn’t mean anything.

What if we later learn that relatively frequent exposure to things that are considered “unhealthy” helps us build a resistance which helps us live longer as long as it is moderated?

I truly believe that concept holds more truth than the one presented by the OP.[/quote]

Well, you’re right. We don’t understand what allows some human beings to attain an extremely old age. A few animal studies do not change this. Like you said, it is probably mostly winning the genetic lottery that allows someone to live EXTREMELY long. Sometimes even in spite of unhealthy behaviors. But we do know there is a HIGH correlation between the things I mentioned–proper diet, exercise, maintaining a proper weight [or rather bodyfat %]–and longevity. And, more importantly, quality of life while still alive. Enough to say that these behaviors promote both. Ordinary long, healthy lives. Not crazy, long lives.

Anything’s possible; we could learn that frequent exposure to things that are unhealthy helps build a resistance which helps us live longer. But I’m not holding my breath. I don’t see that as much more likely than caloric restriction being some magic pill that allows extreme longevity.

[quote]OneEye wrote:
Come on. This pic says it all.

I’d rather live to be 80 and have a full life than live to be 120 and be weak, frail and sickly my whole life.

Or maybe this guy is the picture of vitality. Right.[/quote]

Agreed.

[quote]Professor X wrote:

Further, where are all of the people living to be over 100 years old who don’t eat much? Shouldn’t there be a lot more of those by now?

My great aunt (may be great-great) lived to 112…and she SMOKED. No, that doesn’t mean that smoking makes you live longer. It is just proof that there is much more at work here than simply trying to be as healthy as possible…which really doesn’t mean anything.

OP.[/quote]

I’ll tell you where all the calorie restricting, long-living smokers are: France! Those un-American existentialist bastards with their socialized medicine. They make me sick.

But seriously. The fat monkey that eats too much for living a sedentary life in captivity is gonna be worse off than the skinny monkey thats eating just enough to properly function.

I wanna see the T-Nation monkey test where a third monkey is given over a thousand calories a day and is trained to do squats with special monkey barbells.

[quote]jsbrook wrote:
michael2507 wrote:
Professor X wrote:

Further, where are all of the people living to be over 100 years old who don’t eat much? Shouldn’t there be a lot more of those by now?

Good point, even more as conversely, there are some family members of mine who have lived past 80 or even 90 years who were overweight for most of their lives and had bad dietary habits.

Well, that’s a pretty stupid point. There are always exceptions. That’s why they’re called exceptions. [/quote]

How do you know that they are exceptions? Do you really believe that caloric intake, nutrition or even bodyweight are the only significant factors in the equation?

[quote]
We know that being overweight and having bad dietary habits compromises longevity… [/quote]

To what extent is the question here. A question to which you seem to have a decisive answer… :wink:

Where did I mention quality of life in my post?

Hey guys - great chat - I just blogged about this here:
http://www.johnberardi.com/

And Lou Schuler talked about this yesterday:
http://www.louschuler.com/archives/dietnutrition/index.html#a001364

Vegan diets, fating for a day and making a comment on it…that article is filled with opinions and half-facts.

Calorie restriction is a relative term. Could most Americans benefit from restricting calories? Yup. But this is relative to the fact that they’re already eating too much.

" On an average day, he eats an apple or some cereal for breakfast, followed by a small vegan dish at lunch. Dinner is whatever his wife has cooked, excluding bread, rice, sugar and whatever else Mr. Linksvayer deems unhealthy (this often includes the entr?e). On weekends, he occasionally fasts"

Cereal and vegan dishes? Humans are Omnivores. The benefits these people are seeing are more than likely a benefit of stabilized insulin levels due to quasi-fasting conditions. Throw in some meat with these meals and you’ll recieve the same hormonal benefits, with added mineral uptake of fat-soluble vitamins, all while being “allowed” to eat more calories.

“Have you ever tried to go without food for a day?? Dr. Phelan asked. ?I did it once, because I was curious about what the mice in my lab experienced, and I couldn?t even function at the end of the day.”

This a great rebuttal. Way to shoot down fasting with an example from one day of your own experience. Fasting will most certainly effect people in different ways depending on their diet before the fast. Someone on a fat heavy/ketogenic diet will most likely feel much better during a time of fast than your average carb junkie.

Articles like these might do some good if they start taking the angle that 60% of our citizens are eating too damn much and should cut back to live longer. Of course, people have been hearing that for years and it hasn’t stopped them from their daily feeding frenzy.

[quote]OneEye wrote:
Come on. This pic says it all.[/quote]

What it doesn’t say is:

Mike Linksvayer, 36, on a low-calorie diet for six years, is 6 feet and 135 pounds, and his blood pressure is 112 over 63.

This would explain why he has space on his counter top for a phone.

It doesn’t explain why he looks like Jim Carrey. Or why I have the sudden urge to eat a whole chicken and go lift heavy stuff.

[quote]Miserere wrote:
OneEye wrote:
Come on. This pic says it all.

What it doesn’t say is:

Mike Linksvayer, 36, on a low-calorie diet for six years, is 6 feet and 135 pounds, and his blood pressure is 112 over 63.[/quote]

That’s funny. My bp is 117/71, and my blood work is exceptional. I outweigh the guy by 85 lbs.

There are better ways to lower your bp and have a good blood profile than self-starvation.

Like someone said: Let’s get a third monkey. We’ll have him lift weights and take in a lot of fish oil. I’m betting he will be as healthy (as measured by bp, chol levels, etc.) as the one that’s starving. Plus, he’ll get laid a lot more!

Wanna write up a grant proposal?

Strong Words:

“Mortality makes life matter,” Dr. Kass recently wrote. “Immortality is a kind of oblivion…like death itself.”


Here’s anopther pic

[quote]OneEye wrote:
Come on. This pic says it all.

I’d rather live to be 80 and have a full life than live to be 120 and be weak, frail and sickly my whole life.

Or maybe this guy is the picture of vitality. Right.[/quote]

[quote]Charles Staley wrote:
Here’s anopther pic

OneEye wrote:
Come on. This pic says it all.

I’d rather live to be 80 and have a full life than live to be 120 and be weak, frail and sickly my whole life.

Or maybe this guy is the picture of vitality. Right.

[/quote]

They see me strollin,
They laughin’,
And rollin’ their eyes,
cause I’m so white and nerdy.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=GkhMcyuYroA