Advertisement

Can we live longer by eating less? A review of caloric restriction and longevity

  • Lauren W. Roth
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author. Tel.: +1 303 724 2037; fax: +1 303 724 2053.
    Affiliations
    University of Colorado, Denver, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Section of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, 12631 East 17th Avenue, B-189-3 Aurora, CO 80045, USA
    Search for articles by this author
  • Alex J. Polotsky
    Affiliations
    University of Colorado, Denver, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Section of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, 12631 East 17th Avenue, B-189-3 Aurora, CO 80045, USA
    Search for articles by this author

      Abstract

      Caloric restriction, decreasing caloric intake by 20–30%, was first shown to extend life in rats nearly 80 years ago. Since that time, limiting food intake for longevity has been investigated in species from yeast to humans. In yeast and lower animals, caloric restriction has repeatedly been demonstrated to lengthen the life span. Studies of caloric restriction in non-human primates and in humans are ongoing and initial results suggest prolongation of life as well as prevention of age-related disease. There is also data in rodents suggesting that short term caloric restriction has beneficial effects on fertility. Although caloric restriction has many positive effects on health and longevity, quality of life on a restricted diet as well as the ability to maintain that diet long term are concerns that must be considered in humans.

      Keywords

      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'

      Subscribe:

      Subscribe to Maturitas
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect

      References

        • McCay C.M.
        • Crowell M.F.
        • Maynard L.A.
        The effect of retarded growth upon the length of life span and upon the ultimate body size. 1935.
        Nutrition. 1989; 5 (discussion 72): 155-171
        • Fontana L.
        • Partridge L.
        • Longo V.D.
        Extending healthy life span—from yeast to humans.
        Science. 2010; 328: 321-326
        • Trepanowski J.F.
        • Canale R.E.
        • Marshall K.E.
        • Kabir M.M.
        • Bloomer R.J.
        Impact of caloric and dietary restriction regimens on markers of health and longevity in humans and animals: a summary of available findings.
        Nutr J. 2011; 10: 107
        • Colman R.J.
        • Anderson R.M.
        • Johnson S.C.
        • et al.
        Caloric restriction delays disease onset and mortality in rhesus monkeys.
        Science. 2009; 325: 201-204
        • Turner C.
        The calorie restriction dieters.
        Telegraph, London2010 ([cited 2011 December 5], www.telegraph.co.uk)
      1. Caloric Restriction Society International. Newport, California [cited 2011 December 5], www.calorierestriction.org.

        • Rochon J.
        • Bales C.W.
        • Ravussin E.
        • et al.
        Design and conduct of the CALERIE study: comprehensive assessment of the long-term effects of reducing intake of energy.
        J Gerontol A: Biol Sci Med Sci. 2011; 66: 97-108
        • Roth G.S.
        • Ingram D.K.
        • Lane M.A.
        Calorie restriction in primates: will it work and how will we know?.
        J Am Geriatr Soc. 1999; 47: 896-903
        • Kaeberlein M.
        • Powers 3rd, R.W.
        • Steffen K.K.
        • et al.
        Regulation of yeast replicative life span by TOR and Sch9 in response to nutrients.
        Science. 2005; 310: 1193-1196
        • Mair W.
        • Dillin A.
        Aging and survival: the genetics of life span extension by dietary restriction.
        Annu Rev Biochem. 2008; 77: 727-754
        • Grandison R.C.
        • Piper M.D.
        • Partridge L.
        Amino-acid imbalance explains extension of lifespan by dietary restriction in Drosophila.
        Nature. 2009; 462: 1061-1064
        • Anderson R.M.
        • Shanmuganayagam D.
        • Weindruch R.
        Caloric restriction and aging: studies in mice and monkeys.
        Toxicol Pathol. 2009; 37: 47-51
        • Shimokawa I.
        • Higami Y.
        • Hubbard G.B.
        • McMahan C.A.
        • Masoro E.J.
        • Yu B.P.
        Diet and the suitability of the male Fischer 344 rat as a model for aging research.
        J Gerontol. 1993; 48: B27-B32
        • Cefalu W.T.
        • Wang Z.Q.
        • Bell-Farrow A.D.
        • Collins J.
        • Morgan T.
        • Wagner J.D.
        Caloric restriction and cardiovascular aging in cynomolgus monkeys (Macaca fascicularis): metabolic, physiologic, and atherosclerotic measures from a 4-year intervention trial.
        J Gerontol A: Biol Sci Med Sci. 2004; 59: 1007-1014
        • Colman R.J.
        • Anderson R.M.
        Nonhuman primate calorie restriction.
        Antioxid Redox Signal. 2011; 14: 229-239
        • Bodkin N.L.
        • Alexander T.M.
        • Ortmeyer H.K.
        • Johnson E.
        • Hansen B.C.
        Mortality and morbidity in laboratory-maintained Rhesus monkeys and effects of long-term dietary restriction.
        J Gerontol A: Biol Sci Med Sci. 2003; 58: 212-219
        • Mattison J.A.
        • Lane M.A.
        • Roth G.S.
        • Ingram D.K.
        Calorie restriction in rhesus monkeys.
        Exp Gerontol. 2003; 38: 35-46
        • Lane M.A.
        • Ingram D.K.
        • Roth G.S.
        Calorie restriction in nonhuman primates: effects on diabetes and cardiovascular disease risk.
        Toxicol Sci. 1999; 52: 41-48
        • Black A.
        • Allison D.B.
        • Shapses S.A.
        • et al.
        Calorie restriction and skeletal mass in rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta): evidence for an effect mediated through changes in body size.
        J Gerontol A: Biol Sci Med Sci. 2001; 56: B98-B107
        • Lane M.A.
        • Black A.
        • Handy A.M.
        • et al.
        Energy restriction does not alter bone mineral metabolism or reproductive cycling and hormones in female rhesus monkeys.
        J Nutr. 2001; 131: 820-827
        • Lane M.A.
        • Ball S.S.
        • Ingram D.K.
        • et al.
        Diet restriction in rhesus monkeys lowers fasting and glucose-stimulated glucoregulatory end points.
        Am J Physiol. 1995; 268: E941-E948
        • Kemnitz J.W.
        • Roecker E.B.
        • Weindruch R.
        • Elson D.F.
        • Baum S.T.
        • Bergman R.N.
        Dietary restriction increases insulin sensitivity and lowers blood glucose in rhesus monkeys.
        Am J Physiol. 1994; 266: E540-E547
        • Cefalu W.T.
        • Wagner J.D.
        • Wang Z.Q.
        • et al.
        A study of caloric restriction and cardiovascular aging in cynomolgus monkeys (Macaca fascicularis): a potential model for aging research.
        J Gerontol A: Biol Sci Med Sci. 1997; 52: B10-B19
        • Verdery R.B.
        • Ingram D.K.
        • Roth G.S.
        • Lane M.A.
        Caloric restriction increases HDL2 levels in rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta).
        Am J Physiol. 1997; 273: E714-E719
        • Ramsey J.J.
        • Colman R.J.
        • Binkley N.C.
        • et al.
        Dietary restriction and aging in rhesus monkeys: the University of Wisconsin study.
        Exp Gerontol. 2000; 35: 1131-1149
        • Trepanowski J.F.
        • Bloomer R.J.
        The impact of religious fasting on human health.
        Nutr J. 2010; 9: 57
        • Willcox B.J.
        • Willcox D.C.
        • 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 NY Acad Sci. 2007; 1114: 434-455
        • Walford R.L.
        • Mock D.
        • Verdery R.
        • MacCallum T.
        Calorie restriction in Biosphere 2: alterations in physiologic, hematologic, hormonal, and biochemical parameters in humans restricted for a 2-year period.
        J Gerontol A: Biol Sci Med Sci. 2002; 57: B211-B224
        • Das S.K.
        • Gilhooly C.H.
        • Golden J.K.
        • et al.
        Long-term effects of 2 energy-restricted diets differing in glycemic load on dietary adherence, body composition, and metabolism in CALERIE: a 1-y randomized controlled trial.
        Am J Clin Nutr. 2007; 85: 1023-1030
        • Heilbronn L.K.
        • de Jonge L.
        • Frisard M.I.
        • et al.
        Effect of 6-month calorie restriction on biomarkers of longevity, metabolic adaptation, and oxidative stress in overweight individuals: a randomized controlled trial.
        JAMA. 2006; 295: 1539-1548
        • Papadaki A.
        • Vardavas C.
        • Hatzis C.
        • Kafatos A.
        Calcium, nutrient and food intake of Greek Orthodox Christian monks during a fasting and non-fasting week.
        Public Health Nutr. 2008; 11: 1022-1029
        • Bloomer R.J.
        • Kabir M.M.
        • Canale R.E.
        • et al.
        Effect of a 21 day Daniel Fast on metabolic and cardiovascular disease risk factors in men and women.
        Lipids Health Dis. 2010; 9: 94
        • Willcox D.C.
        • Willcox B.J.
        • He Q.
        • Wang N.C.
        • Suzuki M.
        They really are that old: a validation study of centenarian prevalence in Okinawa.
        J Gerontol A: Biol Sci Med Sci. 2008; 63: 338-349
        • Racette S.B.
        • Weiss E.P.
        • Villareal D.T.
        • et al.
        One year of caloric restriction in humans: feasibility and effects on body composition and abdominal adipose tissue.
        J Gerontol A: Biol Sci Med Sci. 2006; 61: 943-950
        • Fontana L.
        • Villareal D.T.
        • Weiss E.P.
        • et al.
        Calorie restriction or exercise: effects on coronary heart disease risk factors. A randomized, controlled trial.
        Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2007; 293: E197-E202
        • Redman L.M.
        • Rood J.
        • Anton S.D.
        • Champagne C.
        • Smith S.R.
        • Ravussin E.
        Calorie restriction and bone health in young, overweight individuals.
        Arch Intern Med. 2008; 168: 1859-1866
        • Tsagareli V.
        • Noakes M.
        • Norman R.J.
        Effect of a very-low-calorie diet on in vitro fertilization outcomes.
        Fertil Steril. 2006; 86: 227-229
        • Williamson D.A.
        • Martin C.K.
        • Anton S.D.
        • et al.
        Is caloric restriction associated with development of eating-disorder symptoms? Results from the CALERIE trial.
        Health Psychol. 2008; 27: S32-S42
        • Fernandez E.
        Extreme dieting: does it lead to longer lives?.
        University of California San Francisco, San Francisco2011 ([cited 2011 December 6], http://www.ucsf.edu/news/2011/04/9740/extreme-dieting-does-it-lead-longer-lives)
        • Barzilai N.
        • Gabriely I.
        • Atzmon G.
        • Suh Y.
        • Rothenberg D.
        • Bergman A.
        Genetic studies reveal the role of the endocrine and metabolic systems in aging.
        J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2010; 95: 4493-4500
        • Atzmon G.
        • Schechter C.
        • Greiner W.
        • Davidson D.
        • Rennert G.
        • Barzilai N.
        Clinical phenotype of families with longevity.
        J Am Geriatr Soc. 2004; 52: 274-277
        • Atzmon G.
        • Rincon M.
        • Rabizadeh P.
        • Barzilai N.
        Biological evidence for inheritance of exceptional longevity.
        Mech Ageing Dev. 2005; 126: 341-345
        • Johnston S.L.
        • Grune T.
        • Bell L.M.
        • et al.
        Having it all: historical energy intakes do not generate the anticipated trade-offs in fecundity.
        Proc Biol Sci. 2006; 273: 1369-1374
        • Sitzmann B.D.
        • Mattison J.A.
        • Ingram D.K.
        • Roth G.S.
        • Ottinger M.A.
        • Urbanski H.F.
        Impact of moderate calorie restriction on the reproductive neuroendocrine axis of male rhesus macaques.
        Open Longev Sci. 2010; 3: 38-47
        • Sitzmann B.D.
        • Leone E.H.
        • Mattison J.A.
        • et al.
        Effects of moderate calorie restriction on testosterone production and semen characteristics in young rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta).
        Biol Reprod. 2010; 83: 635-640
        • Selesniemi K.
        • Lee H.J.
        • Tilly J.L.
        Moderate caloric restriction initiated in rodents during adulthood sustains function of the female reproductive axis into advanced chronological age.
        Aging Cell. 2008; 7: 622-629
        • Gurtcheff S.E.
        • Klein N.A.
        Diminished ovarian reserve and infertility.
        Clin Obstet Gynecol. 2011; 54: 666-674
        • Moran L.J.
        • Dodd J.
        • Nisenblat V.
        • Norman R.J.
        Obesity and reproductive dysfunction in women.
        Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am. 2011; 40: 895-906
        • Roseboom T.J.
        • Painter R.C.
        • van Abeelen A.F.
        • Veenendaal M.V.
        • de Rooij S.R.
        Hungry in the womb: what are the consequences? Lessons from the Dutch famine.
        Maturitas. 2011; 70: 141-145