First Controlled Human Trial Shows Cutting Calories Improves Health and Longevity

It’s actually tough to run a trial mandating people to consistently cut their calories in a controlled way. But a recent trial aims to do just that; CALERIE. The Comprehensive Assessment of Long term Effects of Reducing Intake of Energy trial is the first controlled study of Calorie Restriction in average people.

Headed by scientists at Yale University and Pennington Biomedical Research, the trial found that cutting calories by a mere 14 percent for 2 years-about one less muffin per day-conferred multiple health benefits known to combat aging.

This topic has been known for a long time in mice. Without cutting calories, the rodents had less aging-associated inflammation and a more efficient thymus-an organ that makes immune cells-and metabolism compared to similarly-aged peers.

There is a connection between caloric restriction, inflammation, and immunity-how do they interact to control longevity? Previous studies found that cutting calories in mice sometimes increased their chance of infection.

Previous studies in rodents that cut their calories by nearly half resulted in better function of their thymus and immune T cells, as well as a drop in the molecules that promote inflammation.

CALERIE is one of the first studies to show that cutting calories by just a bit in humans boosts functions that normally decline with aging.

The trial found that cutting calories by a mere 14 percent for 2 years, about one less muffin per day, conferred multiple health benefits known to combat aging.

The fountain of youth seemed to stem from one protein at the junction between metabolism and immunity, which dropped precipitously after dieting.