It is amazing that over 80 years of research shows that restricting calories is the most consistent way to extend life and age related health problems (Pifferi F et al, 2019; Lee S-H, Min K-J et al, 2013; Anderson and Weindruch, 2012). Although the types of food consumed is also important. Fruits and vegetables along with good sources of protein and fat need to be included. Individuals who have health conditions should follow their health care practitioner.

Other therapeutic interventions are important also such as exercise. 

How does restricting calories extend life?

Restricting calories is associated with influencing metabolic rate and controlling free radical levels in the body (Lee S-H, Min K-J et al, 2013). It effects metabolism at the tissue level influencing mTOR, insulin/insulin-like growth factor signaling, sirtuins among other factors that are involved.

Calorie restriction has been found to support immune function (Ziyun Wu et al, 2019).

The immune system is like the body’ guard, watching out for anything that is trying to attack and get inside including bacteria and viruses. When the immune system sees the culprit, it sends an acute immune response. With aging this activation is critically important, so the immune system needs to stay healthy.

How does exercise help extend life?

Exercise activates some of the same longevity pathways as calorie restriction and improves healthy aging. Lower risks of mortality and health conditions are also observed in those that perform regular physical activity. 

A 5 year study was performed with 14,599 men and women between the ages of 40 and 79 to examine lifestyle and longevity (Mok A et al, 2019). Those that profited the most were those that included a high level physical activity in their daily routine, having a better chance of not dying prematurely. It was stated that those who were physically active have the potential to prevent 46% of deaths.

Caloric restriction and exercise promote cellular activity as a defense to help the repair of DNA and initiate key antioxidant enzymes. By doing this it helps to protect cell activity and improve health and longevity against any cellular damage or changes or free radical damage.

How many calories needs to be reduced to have longevity benefits?

In general, a person would need to reduce calories by 10 to 30% to reap the rewards and have an impact on life extension (Lee S-H, Min K-J et al, 2013).

Calorie restriction and Exercise provide various health benefits

These benefits include improving weight management, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal support, brain function and healthy blood sugar.

In summary, restricting calories by 10 to 30% is considered to be the most consistent way to increase longevity and age related problems, unless an individual is following a special medical diet.

Although eating healthy foods is essential. Research shows that exercise helps to extend life and reduces the risk of health conditions.

Supplements that activate the same longevity pathways as calorie restriction and exercise include NAD Boosters (NMN), Sirtuin Activators (Resveratrol), mTOR inhibitors (Resveratrol), and AMPK activators (Berberine).

In summary, there are great benefits of following a restricted calorie diet unless one is following a special diet for a particular health issue. Research has shown advantages for the brain, heart and arteries, weight management, blood sugar, gastrointestinal tract, and provides anti-aging properties.