CALORIC RESTRICTION WINS
It is common knowledge that most of us eat more than we actually need. It has also become increasingly more apparent that fasting on one level or another brings a myriad of benefits. A recent study from Duke University demonstrated that caloric restriction helped improve all factors of metabolic syndrome in patients without obesity. (CALORIE trial)
This was a very modest restriction, a 12% reduction or 300 fewer calories a day. Following this plan for 2 years, there were significant improvements in multiple cardiovascular risk factors:
Systolic blood pressure
Diastolic blood pressure
LDL or the “lousy” cholesterol
Total cholesterol to HDL “healthy” cholesterol ratio
Other benefits include lowering of fasting insulin, fasting blood sugar and C-reactive protein (a sensitive measure of inflammation).
Considered groundbreaking, this is the first long-term caloric restriction intervention in non-obese young and middle age subjects. Furthermore, there was a very low dropout rate, which connotes that a modest restriction in calories is doable.
I find this study very exciting but not surprising. The benefits of restricted caloric intake go way beyond cardiovascular health. This strategy is being studied for extending lifespan and anti-aging in general.
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