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atural Life Extension
 

First Steps in Life Extension

© Leon Chaitow ND, DO, MRO

Maintaining nutrient levels
It is absolutely essential for the mineral and vitamin content of the diet to be maintained, and because this is something which only a few people would be able to work out for themselves from their dietary intake, it is suggested and strongly urged, that anyone applying calorie restriction methods should supplement daily with a broad based multi mineral and multivitamin tablet/capsule containing all essential nutrients in quantities which ensure that RDA levels are achieved. The restricted diet, producing around 2,000 calories daily, should include enough protein to provide between 0.8 and 1.0 gram of good quality protein per day for each kilogram of body weight. The diet should not contain less than 0.4 and not more than 0.6 grams of fat per day per kilogram of body weight.

Will you be hungry all the time?
It is now a well-established phenomenon that when food is nutritionally sound, less of it is eaten without any sense of hunger being noticed. Satisfaction (satiety), a feeling of having 'had enough' comes sooner (after less food is eaten) in both humans and animals when nutritionally excellent meals are provided compared with the amount eaten when 'cafeteria' type food is eaten. When such 'tasty toxins' (lots of 'empty' calories food with no nutritional value) are a major part of the diet greater consumption follows and greater heat production (metabolic rate) is the result.

In one human study, lasting for five days, those involved were allowed to eat until they had had enough (reached satiety) of two different diets, one of which provided a high calorie content but low nutritional value, and the other high nutritional value and low calorie content. The results were that satiety was reached after only 1,570 calories had been consumed of the nutritious diet, whereas 'enough' was only reached with 3,000 calories of 'empty' food.

The aim in the recommended diet patterns in the next chapter is to offer nutritionally dense foods, with as few empty calories as possible. In this way feelings of hunger and desire to snack or nibble will be avoided.

Are there any dangers in dietary restriction methods?

  1. The concept that life extension will only be achieved if these methods are introduced in infancy, and that such efforts would produce widespread damage and possibly death are now totally disproved. Nevertheless, to repeat the warning, no attempt should be made, without medical supervision, to use dietary restriction approaches on children.

  2. Negative results were seen in early animal studies because the methods were incorrectly applied, with too drastic a cut in food intake, frequently of unbalanced foods. When correct feeding of nutrients is ensured, and the methods are applied at the right speed, no danger exists. Successful application to adult animals, and human experience, has given us clear guidelines for the best methods. It is, therefore, necessary to ensure that weight loss is not too rapid, say no more than 21b (approx 1 kilo) per week at most until the ideal weight (see items 6 and 7 below) is reached, at which time a stable weight should be achieved despite the continued restricted diet.

  3. Nutritional deficiency is widespread even on a full so-called balanced diet in the US, UK and most industrialized societies. Evidence for this is based on a catalog of studies involving hundreds of thousands of children, teenagers, young adults, the middle-aged and people in retirement homes, ranging from the affluent to the very poor, all of which show that about half the populations of North America and Europe are deficient in one or more important nutrient (with many deficient in more than one). Those most commonly found to be too low for optimal health are zinc, vitamin E, riboflavin*, folic acid*, vitamin A, vitamin B6*, thiamine* and vitamin C (those marked with an asterisk are part of the vitamin B-complex). All of these are either antioxidants themselves (vitamins A, C and E) or are involved with enzyme and other antioxidant activity, making the avoidance of such deficiencies all the more important for life extension purposes. If nothing more was done, in trying to implement calorie restriction, other than a reduction in the amount of what is currently being eaten, such deficiencies would simply be made worse. It is essential, therefore, that any attempt at dietary restriction should be accompanied by nutritional supplementation and not just involve a cut in regular eating habits.
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About The Author
A practicing naturopath, osteopath, and acupuncturist in the United Kingdom, with over forty years clinical experience, Chaitow is Editor-in-Chief, of the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies. He regularly lectures in the United States as well as Europe where he instructs......more
 
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