Low calorie diet can add years to your life

Count your calories even if you don’t need to as a recent study has suggested that cutting calories can extend your lifespan.

Overeating can lead to health issues that can shorten one’s life, such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease. On the other end of the spectrum, several studies have shown that restricting calorie intake below what a normal diet would dictate may lead to a longer life.

In an animal study, Huiru Tang, Yulan Wang, Yong Liu and colleagues report the metabolic reasons why these opposite diets may lead to such differences in longevity.

The group divided mice into four dietary categories, low-fat, low-fat with calorie restriction, high-fat and high-fat with calorie restriction, for more than a year.

They then used nuclear magnetic resonance analysis to examine the metabolic effects in blood and urine samples.

The researchers found that calorie restriction had a much bigger effect on metabolic outcomes than the amount of fat in the diet.

Mice on higher calorie diets had increased oxidative stress, disturbed lipid metabolism, suppressed glycolysis and altered gut-microbial metabolites compared to those on the calorie-restricted regimens.