Does calorie restriction increase life span in humans?

Broccoli on a plate
“Let food be your medicine and let medicine be your food.” Hippocrates

The Bottom Line

What is calorie restriction?

  • It is a dietary regime that involves restricting calories whilst still getting adequate nutrients (in the hope that it increases lifespan).

Where are we at with calorie restriction studies?

  • Studies on other species (flies, worms, fish and rodents) have shown that calorie restriction extends lifespan and slows down ageing, although studies on humans and nonhuman primates have produced mixed results.
  • There is currently no straightforward answer to the question of whether calorie restriction in humans extends lifespan because there haven’t been any formal studies on humans.
  • The effects of ‘Calorie Restriction’ in primates are complex and seem to depend on environmental, nutritional, and genetic factors.
  • There is a group of people who belong to the Caloric Restriction Society and who restrict their food intake in the belief that it will protect them against some of the disease processes which are responsible for ageing.