Cutting calories by 30% slows the aging process

The march of old age is unstoppable, but a new study has revealed that the secret to a long life lies in the ultra low calorie diet.

An international team has found that substantially cutting calories — by as much as 30 per cent — from a normal diet could slow the ageing process and thereby increase life expectancy.

In fact, researchers have found that reducing calories just above malnutrition levels can reduce risks of developing heart disease or cancer by almost half and increase lifetimes by nearly a third.

For the study, the team followed 76 rhesus macaques, half of which consumed 30 per cent fewer calories, over 20 years beginning around adulthood. They found that 37 per cent of the animals on the restricted diet are still alive today, compared to just 13 per cent of monkeys who ate a normal diet.

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“It suggests to me that the fundamental biology of caloric restriction being studied in mice, flies, and worms seems to apply nicely to primates,” team leader Richard Weindruch of University of Wisconsin in Madison said.