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Archive for the ‘CR Way’ tag

Aug 27, 2011

Calorie Restriction: A Cell Signaling Diet!

Posted by in categories: biological, life extension

Some people say that a calorie restriction (CR) diet is difficult to follow. It used to be. But things have changed: Thanks to great work by leading scientists, current approaches to calorie restriction are just as much about cell signaling as about limiting calories.

It is known, for example, that serious long-term CR dramatically lowers insulin levels.1 Another hormone, with a similar molecular structure, insulin-like growth factor one (IGF-I), shares the same pathway with insulin and is downregulated by CR in animal studies and by calorie restricted humans who do not follow high protein diets.2

And there’s the rub. For if you hope to benefit from calorie restriction and do not pay attention to the special properties of macronutrient intake, individual foods, and food preparation, you may get an unpleasant surprise: excessive stimulation of the insulin/IGF-I pathway. For example, in a study using healthy volunteers, just 50 grams of white potato starch sends glucose and insulin soaring3 to levels associated with increased risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes.4

Back in the 1930s, when the term calorie restriction was first applied to Dr. Clive McCay’s rat and mouse experiments,5 it was entirely appropriate because the focus was on calories since he was looking at growth retardation. Of course, little was known about the signals involved in the life-extending effects of the diet. All that changed as scientists discovered important cell-signaling patterns that produce the phenomenal life-transforming effects.6

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Apr 13, 2011

“You are What you Don’t Eat!”

Posted by in categories: biological, life extension

As leaders of calorie restriction research and practice, Meredith Averill and I often participate in media events. A recent news conference covered rapidly evolving aspects of calorie restriction research that anyone could benefit from, whether they choose to follow a low-calorie lifestyle or not. Therefore, we thought it appropriate to share the details of the event with the Lifeboat Foundation audience.

The conference was hosted by the American Federation of Aging Research (AFAR). AFAR is a forward-looking organization that provides financial support for early- and mid-career scientists who are developing careers in the study of aging.

This conference, entitled “You are What you Don’t Eat!” presented two world-famous CR scientists, Drs. Luigi Fontana and Donald Ingram. After an introduction from AFAR’s board member, Dr. Jack Watters, both scientists shared many profound insights that could extend healthy lifespan for millions of people.

Dr. Fontana first reminded us how important calorie restriction research is for the health and financial viability of the health care system: “Cardiovascular disease (CVD), cancer, stroke and diabetes account for nearly 70% of the deaths in the United States and Europe. About 80% of adults over 65 years of age have at least one chronic disease, and 50% have two or more of these chronic diseases that accelerate the aging process1 .” The point he makes is that health care systems, especially with our rapidly aging population cannot sustain this large number of people with disease.

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