Primate Study Confirms: Calorie Restriction Extends Life and Protects against Age-related Disease

Rhesus monkey

Last week, the Wisconsin rhesus monkey study released results that put to rest the notion that that calorie restriction does not extend life in non-human primates. What caused the confusion is that in August 2012 scientists at the National Institute of Aging released a paper that produced worldwide attention, Impact of caloric restriction on health and survival in rhesus monkeys from the NIA study*.

“We report here that a CR regimen implemented in young and older age rhesus monkeys at the National Institute on Aging (NIA) has not improved survival outcomes.” Read more here: Why the New Monkey Study Fails to Tell us about CR’s Longevity Effect.

On April 1, primate researchers from the University of Wisconsin published a paper**, affirming that Caloric Restriction (CR) without malnutrition significantly improves age-related and all-cause survival in rhesus monkeys.  This confirms what we at LivingTheCRWay already know: Similar to rhesus monkeys, which are also primates – Calorie Restriction extends life in humans. That has been shown in rigorous epidemiological studies***.  Every day, thousands at experience extraordinary results of their CR lifestyle. Many produce clinical test results that would be common for people at much younger ages.

The days are gone when human calorie restrictors practiced draconian diets that produce extremely low body weights. The CR Way approach changed that. It takes advantage of the latest scientific research, showing that activation of longevity cell signals are the important factors for successful calorie restriction. This may be as simple as keeping calorie intake moderate, choosing low-GI, nutrient-dense foods, exercising moderately regularly, and maintaining a happy approach to living.

While some practice the CR Way to lose weight, others are encouraged to gain weight for better health.


* Julie A. Mattison, George S. Roth, T. Mark Beasley3 Edward M. Tilmont, April M. Handy, Richard L. Herbert, Dan L. Longo, David B. Allison, Jennifer E. Young, Mark Bryant, Dennis Barnard, Walter F. Ward1, Wenbo Qi, Donald K. Ingram, Rafael de Cabo. Letter: Impact of caloric restriction on health and survival in rhesus monkeys from the NIA studyNature, 2012. doi:10.1038/nature11432

**Colman, R. J. et al. Caloric restriction reduces age-related and all-cause mortality in rhesus monkeys. Nat. Commun. 5:3557 doi: 10.1038/ncomms4557 (2014).

***Willcox BJ, Willcox DC, Todoriki H, et al. Caloric restriction, the traditional Okinawan diet, and healthy aging: the diet of the world’s longest-lived people and its potential impact on morbidity and life span. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2007 Oct;1114:434-55.


Photo courtesy of: Wikipedia Commons: Rhesus macaques on Qianling Shan in the outskirts of Guiyang–Einar Fredriksen

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