We are often seen in media reports, showing people how to start a healthy low-calorie diet, which we welcome as part of our mission. But for those who want the best chance to be part of a Utopian future, we have some important news: The opportunity to reverse or slow many age-related declines that are considered inevitable is here now.
From the nano level of nutrition and exercise effects on molecules to the holistic results of meditation – we can affect how we live, how well we live, and probably how long we live in our current human form. This can be achieved with The CR Way, a human-friendly mode of calorie restriction, which has been proven to extend life, prevent disease, and improve functionality.
When we began our CR quest in 1994, in our mid-forties, there were many opinions on optimal practice of calorie restriction: Debates raged on the Calorie Restriction Society listserve: High protein – low protein? Which supplements? How much exercise? How many calories? – confusion reigned.
At first, we just wanted to apply basic CR research to our lives. But as our success grew, we wanted more: to slow, prevent, and even reverse age-related declines. That was asking a lot, because no humans had ever proven that that was possible.
Fortunately, ground-breaking science helped us find the way. New research revealed that CR activates an ancient biological defense system that shifts the emphasis from cell proliferation to maintenance by more effective cellular function. Activating this system became an important tenet of The CR Way.
Applying the new science to diet and lifestyle required clinical results for every important choice we made. So we committed to regular checks of every aspect of our health by a superb team of physicians, specialists in every discipline – endocrinology, immunology, gastroenterology, for example. Leading the way was our internist, a calorie restrictor himself, and an extraordinary physician.
But we needed CR scientists to get involved and so did all the other humans, attempting CR – for hardly any human calorie restriction research was available for guidance. So we were lucky to find Luigi Fontana and John Holloszy at the School of Medicine at Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Holloszy had been studying exercise physiology for decades and had designed and equipped the “perfect” lab for testing humans. Dr. Fontana had explored metabolism in his Ph.D. research and was especially interested in nutrition. Both physicians preferred to study human subjects than other lab animals. They wanted to test whether people would get the same benefit from CR as the research mammals. This matched our interests exactly. Thus, the first longitudinal research project on human beings was born. (http://www.calorierestriction.org/ResearchOnAging).
Much was achieved. Fontana and Holloszy first honed in, for example, on key markers of cardiovascular aging, reporting in the peer-reviewed literature that the hearts and arteries of the CR cohort functioned like those of much younger people.
Now, with expert guidance, we were able to set our own personal standards for “aging” health that may seem like science fiction:
• Heart function – age-related loss of cells slows, blood pressure is 98/62 or lower.
• Arterial plaque accumulation remains static or reverses.
• Muscle strength maintains or increases with no lasting soreness or pain from exertion – age-related cell loss slows.
• Cellular energy production increases.
• Immune function increases – quick reaction to immune challenges; inflammation markers at lowest end of reference range.
• Risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease lowers.
• Youthful hormone secretion ability preserved.
• Stronger skeletal system – bone density increases gradually with likely stronger matrix.
When in our fifties, we were happy that the physiological transformation of our bodies was on track. But perhaps the most difficult goal to achieve was elusive: Increase in cognitive capabilities was still not happening. We wondered if we had mined caloric restriction for all that it is worth.
Fortunately, Mark Mattson, Chief of the NIH Laboratory of Neurosciences came to the rescue. Out of his work and other influences, evolved an new way to use proven CR science to create a CR protocol to increase cognition
A much longer, healthier life isn’t worthwhile unless it is happy and fulfilling. What is not generally known about happiness is that it can be greatly affected by food and lifestyle choices – So much so that the focus of The CR Way to Happy Dieting, the online resource that is part of the benefits for Longevity-Level members, is orchestrating diet and lifestyle for happiness.
May The CR Way help you join a Utopian future or perhaps begin to live it right now!