We have been speaking of the benefits of caloric restriction with optimal nutrition. We know that restricting calories results in fewer free radical formation and fewer advanced glycated end products (see previous post) that age and damage our bodies. In fact, in all of the scientific literature, caloric restriction is the ONLY variable that actually promotes healthy longevity! It has been found that caloric restriction triggers and interacts with the Sirtuin family of genes that control an organism’s ability to withstand hard times and may be the master regulators of the survival mechanism. Sirloins can cause changes throughout your body that render it temporarily revved up for survival. Activated over the long term, this response prolongs lifespan and forestalls disease in a wide range of organisms.
Caloric restriction acts like a biologic stressor, like natural food scarcity, that induces a defensive response to boost the organism’s chances of survival.Its effects include changes in cellular defense and repair, energy production and activation of apoptosis (programmed cell death). We can get a clue to the potential benefits of caloric restriction by observing the diets of certain populations known to have high life expectancies. The Okinawans are currently the longest lived people on earth and one strongly supported theory for their longevity is based upon their traditionally low calorie but nutritionally healthy diet. The traditional Okinawa diet consumes approximately 30% less calories than the American counterpart.
Caloric restriction is the most effective and reproducible laboratory intervention for extending lifetime survival, both mean and maximum lifespan, in a variety of organisms. Animals are healthier, sleeker, more active with less tumors, less neurodegenerative disease, improved heart function, less atherosclerosis and less DNA damage. Caloric restriction increases lifespan in primates by 25%, and in other animal populations by 15-60%. And the nutraceutical Resveratrol, a bioflavonoid found in the skins of red grapes, can simulate caloric restriction in humans in the face of high caloric intake. DO I NOW HAVE YOUR FULL ATTENTION?
There are several protocols for caloric restriction. The first involves a daily restriction of 30-40%. This is generally not feasible for most people as it would decrease energy, decrease libido, promote cold intolerance, increase stress and depression and actually reduce the efficiency of activities of daily living. A second protocol is called intermittent fasting and involves fasting one day and ad-lib intake of calories the following day. essentially this is an every other day fast. Again, this may not be practical for our lifestyles, but this scenario of intermittent fasting does dissociate the stress response from caloric restriction.
Practically speaking, you can achieve caloric restriction by decreasing daily caloric consumption by 20%, increase energy expenditure by 20% with 4-6 days per week of aerobic and resistance exercise, fasting 3-4 nights a week from 6PM until 6AM the next morning (or any 12 hour period), and take Resveratrol 250mg daily. This protocol simulates a 40% caloric restriction without the untoward effects. It WILL help you live longer, healthier and happier!
In summary, caloric restriction improves mitochondrial function, insulin sensitivity, immunity and antioxidant defenses, increases life expectancy, increases Sirtuin gene expression, reduces carcinoma risk and the risk of cardiovascular disease and reduces neurodegeneration. Remember, EAT A LOT AND DIE QUICK! EAT A LOT WITH RESVERATROL AND DIE SLOWER! EAT A PRACTICAL PROGRAM OF CALORIC RESTRICTION PROTOCOL AS DESCRIBED, LIVE LONG AND HEALTHY! The choice is yours! Thanks for reading…