Caloric restriction is a term applied to eating less. Consuming fewer calories leads to longer lives for almost all animals. They live longer than those animals fed a regular diet. They look younger and do not have as many age-related diseases as their counterparts who ate regular meals.
In 1900, the average person’s life on planet Earth was estimated to be around 35 years of age. It has doubled since then. https://ourworldindata.org/life-expectancy
In 1960, the United Nations began keeping life expectancy records. A person born that year was expected to live 52.5 years. Today, it is 72 years of age. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3439843/#:~:text=Calorie%20restriction%20(CR)%20is%20the,diabetes%2C%20hypertension%20and%20cardiovascular%20diseases.
Eating fewer calories results in living longer. However, the caveat is that those calories must be nutritionally balanced. Eating a half-pizza (about 900 calories) every day is not going to add healthy years to your life. Animal studies show that eating fewer calories with balanced nutrition reduces the risk of obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases.
The Real Benefits of Caloric Restriction
https://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2020/9/nutrients-that-provide-benefits-of-caloric-restriction Fasting is a form of caloric restriction. You eat fewer calories when fasting. Whether it is intermittent fasting, one-meal-day, or prolonged fasting, the overall number of calories eaten on the average each day of the week is less.
What happens when we eat less? Caloric restriction boosts sirtuins that regulate cellular health; increases the activity of AMPK that regulates metabolism; reduces mTOR activity reducing aging and chronic diseases, blocks the transition of cells from healthy to dysfunctional, and encourages waste management (cellular housekeeping).
1. Sirtuins and Health
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0891584916302179#:~:text=Accordingly%20sirtuins%20are%20implicated%20in,hearing%20loss%2C%20and%20neurological%20disease identifies the roles of seven sirtuins in regulating cell health. SIRT1 has been found to shield DNA from damage. SIRT3, SIRT4, and SIRT5 act inside the cells to protect against oxidative stress. When sirtuins are functioning properly animals live longer and healthier. Caloric restriction provides the environment for sirtuins to provide maximum support to our cells.
2. AMPK (5’ adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase)
AMPK is an enzyme that controls cellular energy usage. When operating normally, AMPK keeps us at a healthy weight and improves insulin sensitivity.
The resource, Scient Daily, is one of my sources for health research information. Last year’s article on AMPK, https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/01/190115111944.htm gives the molecule AMPK the label of ‘magic bullet of health’. When AMPK is fully supported in our bodies, studies have shown reversal of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other anti-aging actions.
Gynostemma pentaphyllum is called the ‘immortality herb’ in many Asian cultures. Extracts of this herb activate the full potential of AMPK. It also stimulates SIRT1. Hesperidin is another plant that stimulates AMPK function.
3. mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) and Health
https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/mammalian-target-of-rapamycin has an elementary review of mTOR. It is a large molecule with over 2,500 amino acids. mTOR controls several cellular functions – metabolism, signaling, and more.
As we age, mTOR tends to become unbalanced. As such, mTOR functions in youth begin to enter chaos and aging appears more noticeable. People add more fat around their bellies even when they watch what they eat.
Caloric restriction decreases mTOR functional imbalance. Resveratrol and curcumin have also shown to inhibit the growth of mTOR in later life. Note – both resveratrol and curcumin are boosted significantly in their bioavailability in the body when in the presence of black pepper extract (piperine). If you buy those supplements, look for piperine on the label.
4. Cellular Aging
Cellular senescence is another term for older cells. Typically, as cells grow older, they do not perform as well as they did in their earlier lives. Think about how an 80-year-old and a teenager function – it is a good visualization of cellular senescence. Caloric restriction pulls the reins in on cellular aging.
https://www.the-scientist.com/infographics/infographic-how-does-cell-senescence-drive-aging-and-disease–67145 has a good infographic on cellular senescence. Quercetin is a pigment found in many fruits and vegetables and theaflavins found in black tea reduce cellular senescence.
5. Cellular Housekeeping
As we age things do not work as well as they did years or decades earlier. It is not different at the cellular level. If our bodies had a maid service that came by every week on the same day to remove older, damaged cells and replace them with newer, healthier cells, our bodies would be eternally grateful.
The more correct term for cellular housekeeping is autophagy – auto, meaning self, and phagy meaning eat – self-eating. https://www.healthline.com/health/autophagy#:~:text=Autophagy%20is%20the%20body’s%20way,is%20%E2%80%9Cself%2Deating.%E2%80%9D
Caloric restriction encourages autophagy and cellular regeneration. Resveratrol and curcumin also promote autophagy.
Caloric restriction assists in five pathways of healthier longevity. Eating less is easy. Start with a smaller plate (portion control) and limit what you put on the plate for each meal. Cut down from three meals a day to two meals a day. Drink more water.
Caloric restriction is not something you want to start if you are under a doctor’s care. Ensure that you approach this type of lifestyle with concurrence from your physician. It is a lifestyle – not a diet in which you eat less food. The foods you choose must provide the nutrients your body needs daily.
Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com