The findings of a National Institute on Aging study showed that a low-calorie diet may be associated with increased longevity. Researchers from the Pennington Biomedical Center at Louisiana State University conducted the Comprehensive Assessment of the Long-term Effects of Reducing Intake of Energy (CALERIE) as a pilot for an expanded trial expected to begin this fall. The results indicated that people who decreased their calories by 25% for 6 months also lowered their fasting insulin levels as well as their body temperature, both of which have been linked to increased longevity. Maintaining a substantially lower calorie intake has significantly extended the life of laboratory rodents when this diet is sustained for a lifetime, but the effects on humans are not yet known. The CALERIE findings appeared in the April 2006 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Ms. Farley is a freelance medical writer based in Wakefield, RI.