Listen, Science, Keep This to Yourselves: Severe Calorie Restriction May Slow the Aging Process

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OK, science. We need to talk. Sometimes, I really love you. You hit us right in the face with some amazing knowledge and facts. And I love facts! But sometimes, you’re rude as hell. Like that teeth thing. Or the “study” that said women with more kids are more unattractive. We didn’t need to hear that, science. I want us to be friends, I really do! But then you go and drop some shit like this on us, and well. I’m a little salty about it. According to a new study, severe calorie restriction can help you live longer. But honestly, who would want to live longer than necessary like that?

A new study claims that severe calorie restriction isn’t just good for weight loss. It may actually slow the aging process. RUDE.

diet dieting GIF by Bobbi DeCarlo

Image: Giphy

Research has shown that severely limiting food intake can help rats, monkeys, and even fish live longer. But it hasn’t been studied very much in humans (because who wants to participate in that, honestly). Well, a research team at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge found 53 suckers to give it a try. And the results make me want to cry.

Half of the 53 participants cut their daily caloric intake by up to 25%. The other half ate regularly. All of them were healthy, and none were overweight at the time they entered the study. They ate this way for TWO YEARS.

Obviously, the reduced calorie eaters lost weight. An insane about of weight, actually: 25 pounds on average. But the really interesting data came from testing on life expectancy and metabolic rates. Participants spent 24 hours in special rooms that measured their metabolic rates via gas, oxygen, and carbon dioxide. Researchers measured how the rates changed over time.

In the participants on the calorie restriction diet, their metabolism slowed down, and became more efficient. The study also found that their blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides were also lower. Science is rude. Bodies are rude.

To determine if the results could actually be replicated over a long period of time, a study would have to follow people on a restricted calorie diet for life. Which sounds … awful. And generally speaking, living like that isn’t feasible for most people.

So I guess maybe just watch what you eat? And hope for the best? I don’t know. Between this and the tooth loss thing, I think me and science need to go on a break.

(Image: iStock / vadimguzhva)