T Nation

Stop Starving Yourself for Immortality



"[Biologists John Phelan of the University of California Los Angeles and Michael Rose of the University of California Irvine] said their mathematical model showed that a lifetime of low-calorie dieting would only extend human life span by about 7 percent, unlike smaller animals, whose life spans are affected more by the effects of starvation."

I'm sure this isn't news to anybody, but I do recall a few people in the past posting about eating seriously low calorie diets in order to live longer.

Moral of the story: never make massive life changes based on the results of one study, especially when that study is done on animals other than humans.


I'd rather burn out, than fade away.

Neil Young, was it?

If the average lifespan is 65 years, then 7% is about 4.5 years.

Here's what I want as my epitaph:

Eat loads, lift plenty, screw the 4.5 extra years in the retirement home.


Thank you for the post.


Yea, I used to say that too. But as you get older in life you look for ways to continue to do the things you did when you were younger (quality of life). I imagine if you are in your 70's or 80's that extra five or so years looks pretty dang good!

I never even considered caloric restriction. It never made that much sense to me. In fact, it makes more sense that those who actually burn more calories would have a longer life span based on activity level. In order to burn more caloies you have to take in more calories, otherwise you are burning muscle tissue and wasting away...sort of like what happened to one very strong proponent of caloric restriction.

Dr. Roy Wolford from UCLA died recently at the age of 79. He was on a caloric restricted diet for about 25 years prior to his death. He authored the book "How to live to be 120, and beyond." He claimed many, many scientific studies to back up his claims.

I think the good doctor took in only 1,500 calories per day. Some might wonder if he took his own life. Let's face it 1,500 calories per day had to be torture. Some say when he died (at the age of 79) that he looked like he was over 90!

On the other hand Jack LaLane will be 91 next month and looks more like 70. His method: natural foods, plenty of exercise and a good attitude on life!

Of course, Jack LaLane has no Scientific studies to back that up his methodology. Then again he's still alive..:slightly_smiling:


I prefer the Blade Runner version.
"The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long."


YEAH! What a looooooser! :stuck_out_tongue:


On kind of a related note:

I remember a few years ago reading about a study that looked for similar lifestyle habits among those who lived into their 90's (I think that was the age). One of the few similarities they found was that most of the people were habitual teeth flossers. I think about that every time I am tempted to skip flossing.

I think by the time I make it to my senior years (I'm 23 now) the average North American life span will be quite a bit longer and seniors will enjoy a much better quality of life then they presently do, not that it is even so bad right now. My impression is that a lot more seniors are staying active and self sufficient into their eighties than before. I have no proof of this, it is just my impression.