this was in my pharmacy newsletter this morning:
Caloric restriction may prevent disease, increase life span, researchers say.In a front-page story, the New York Times (7/10, A1, Wade) reports that, according to research published in the journal Science, "people could...fend off the usual diseases of old age and considerably extend their life span by following a special diet." The approach, "known as caloric restriction," contains "all the normal healthy ingredients, but" with "30 percent fewer calories than usual." Past research has shown that "mice kept on such a diet from birth" may "live up to 40 percent longer than comparison mice fed normally." To investigate whether the same would "be true in people," researchers began "two studies of rhesus monkeys" over "20 years ago."
The Wall Street Journal (7/10, Winstein) reports that findings from one of those studies "appear to validate" the "technique...as a way to live longer," providing "new impetus to researchers and companies" that "are searching for a drug to mimic the beneficial effects of a meager diet in humans without the feeling of near-starvation." The study "began in 1989 with 30 rhesus monkeys and added 46 more in 1994." Researchers restricted "half the monkeys' diets, reducing their calories by 30 percent, when the monkeys were fully grown, or about 10 years old."
The Los Angeles Times (7/10, Kaplan) reports, "Over the course of the study, the monkeys that ate the regular diet were three times more likely to die of an age-related disease than their counterparts on caloric restriction." These results were "welcomed by scientists who study the biological mechanisms of aging and longevity." Susan Robergs, of the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, noted that "it adds to the evidence piling up that caloric restriction...is a healthy way to stay alive and healthy longer."
But, Dr. David Finkelstein, of the National Institute on Aging, noted that "what we would really like is not so much that people should live longer, but that people should live healthier," the AP (7/10) reports.