One of the greatest motivators of my life is my desire to live until 107 years old. I’ve previously talked about this and even have a death date picked (November 11, 2076). This desire was one of the things that got me into running. So, I watch with interest any and all research related to increasing longevity.
A promising line of research involved calorie restriction. It seemed a simple premise, animals that existed on fewer calories tended to live longer. This has been observed in thousands of studies across numerous species such as worms and mice. It was pretty much assumed that the same would hold true in primates.
Well, in the latest edition of Nature the results from a 25 year research experiment on Rhesus monkeys is being reported, and the results are…well…unimpressive.
Monkeys who were restricted to 70% of the amount of calories needed for maintenance were compared to a control group who’s mokeys were allowed to eat as much as they wanted (but not enough to become obese). After 25 years, no difference in longevity was noted.
The bottom line is that restricting your calories probably won’t help increase your lifespan.
On the other hand, that makes me feel better about all those candy bars I eat. And who wants to live a life starving themselves anyway? Living a long time is great and all but if your life sucks, what’s the point?