Maybe there's no need for a fountain of youth after all. New research suggests that cutting calories by 15% for two years can slow the metabolic process that leads to aging and protect against age-related diseases.
After just one year on a reduced-calorie diet, study participants saw their metabolic rates drop significantly. The lowered rate continued into the second year and led to an overall decrease in oxidative stress, a process that has been tied to diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer's disease and other age-related conditions.
The study was published Thursday in the journal Cell Metabolism.
"Reducing calorie intake provides health benefits to all people regardless of their current health status," said Leanne M. Redman, lead author of the study and an associate professor at Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University.
Animal studies have shown that restricting calories by 25% can extend life.