A diet involving eating less, while still getting enough vitamins and nutrients is of great interest. Researchers find that calorie restriction diets extend the lives of animals. It is unknown if the anti-aging diets help people to extend their lives. Limited studies have been done in people.

Animal studies focused on insects and animals with short life spans. Researchers found animals on restricted diets live longer. They also found that calorie restriction diets are more important to the life span than striving to maintain healthy weight and exercising regularly. There are studies under way involving animals with longer life spans and will take years to finish. There is promise with the preliminary results in monkeys.

Although scientists have doubts about actual positive effects of the anti-aging calorie restriction diet, calorie restriction research may give doctors clues about the aging process and aging may be slowed.

The way a calorie restriction diet works is to eat less than your body needs to maintain your normal weight. How much less a person eats varies. People who follow a calorie restriction diet hope to slow the aging process and live longer.

The diet involves restricting how much food you eat and carefully monitoring food intake to ensure getting enough vitamins and nutrients. Choices consist of foods full of nutrients, but low in calories, such as vegetables and whole grains.

The benefits of short trials of calorie restriction diets in people include:

• Blood pressure
• Blood sugar
• Body fat percentage
• Cholesterol levels
• Heart rate
• Weight
These benefits are healthy changes that may reduce the risk of chronic disease later in life and therefore create longer life for humans.
Risks of calorie restriction diets include:
• Reduced bone density
• Loss of muscle mass
• Anemia
• Memory loss
• Dizziness
Studies show that getting inadequate amounts of vitamins and nutrients can lead to serious problems such as heart failure and death. Studies show that people with the lowest range body mass index scores have a higher risk of death than do those with normal scores. The studies do not take into account undiagnosed cancer or other serious illnesses that may have caused the weight loss. However, the study results do give us a cause to be cautious when considering the calorie restriction diets as a means of prolonging life. They may end up doing just the opposite for some individuals. There is also very little known about long-term effects of calorie restriction diets in people who have a healthy weight.
If you are considering a calorie restricted diet first discuss it with your doctor. He or she should be able to explore the possible benefits and risks of a calorie restriction diet for you in particular. Getting enough vitamins and nutrients can be difficult when you eat less food, you may also need to consult with a certified dietary nutritionist. He or she can help you decide which foods you should eat to provide you with the nutrition you need.

Calorie restriction diet studies may help researchers understand the aging process. The studies may also provide necessary clues for developing new anti-aging drugs. Once researchers study how calorie restriction diets work on the body their hope is to create drugs to work in the same way.

It might be just as good an idea to wait to see what kind of drugs researchers come up with, that is, if you are young enough to wait for that conclusion. Otherwise, consult with your doctor first before starting a calorie restriction diet in the hopes of anti-aging.

Source: Foundation for Health in Aging

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information in this article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All health concerns should be addressed by a qualified health care professional.

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© 2007 Connie Limon All Rights Reserved

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Written by: Connie Limon. Visit http://smalldogs2.com/Anti-AgingArticles for an extensive list of articles all about the anti-aging. Visit Camelot Articles at http://www.camelotarticles.com