Join Now!      Login

Whole Person Wellness Program
 
healthy.net Wellness Model
Skip Navigation Links
 
 
FREE NEWSLETTER
   
   
   
 
Health Centers
Key Services
 
Medicial Mistakes?
How many people each year suffer some type of preventable harm that contributes to their death after a hospital visit?
from 46,000 to 78,000
from 78,000 to 132,000
from 132,000 to 210,000
from 210,000 to 440,000

 
 
 Natural Life Extension: How Dietary Restriction Works 
 
Important facts to remember
In the 1920s, the early days of research into the effect of dietary restriction on life extension, it was thought by pioneers of this method, such as Clive McCay of Cornell University, that the increase seen in life span was due to a slowing down of the maturing process, and/or by a slowing of the rate of growth. This is now known not to be the case, since adult animals placed on dietary restriction have regularly achieved lengthened life spans with no signs at all of delayed maturity (because they were already mature when the diet began).

Other theories have suggested that reduction in excess body weight, resulting from dietary restriction, could account for longevity. This, too, is now seen to be inaccurate, since in free feeding animals there is no connection between the amount of body fat the animal has and its life expectancy and, as shown by the research referred to in the previous chapter, those animals which achieve increased life span by dietary restriction are in fact the heavier animals. Weindruch and Walford elaborate on this fact by pointing out that when rats are kept slim by exercise, no increase in their maximum life span is seen, but when animals are kept at a similar weight level to that achieved by exercise, by using dietary restriction, there is indeed an increased life span.

Incidentally, this highlights a repetitive finding in research, that exercise has little if any effect on life expectancy, even though it certainly does influence overall well-being.

These major researchers ask us to keep a few very important facts in mind as we consider how dietary restriction works. The first is that calorie restriction (as part of an otherwise optimal diet) achieves its results in practically all species tested to date, whether cows, fruit flies, mosquitoes, rats, mice or protozoans (and of course humans if we accept the results of the Okinawa experience as evidence from a self-generated trial). In all these creatures one indicator is constant: as dietary restriction continues so is there a reduction in accumulations of the fat/protein complex lipofuscin (see Chapter 3 for comments on the build-up of age pigments in cells with age). As an increase of lipofuscin in cells is seen as a major sign of accelerating aging, and as a reduction in its presence occurs in ALL species to which dietary restriction is applied, and as a 'side-effect' of dietary restriction is life extension, the removal or reduction of lipofuscin is of some considerable importance in understanding the mechanisms involved.

We are also asked to consider the connection, or lack of it, between life extension and benefits to the immune system (achieved by dietary restriction), important as this may be. The reason for dismissing the idea that improvements in immune function are central to the life extension process is because creatures such as protozoa have no immune systems, and yet they, like all other creatures to which dietary restriction is applied respond by living longer.

Reducing disease incidence in itself, does not seem to have much effect on increasing Life expectancy overall, and so improving immune function seems not to be involved in life extension. As Weindruch and Walford point out, a number of other dietary strategies such as protein restriction, can dramatically cut down incidence of auto-immune diseases (chronic nephropathy in rats, for example) but this hardly contributes at all to an increase in life span in animals so treated. The message they repeat is that only calorie restriction achieves life extension in mammals.

CONTINUED    1  2  3  4  5  6  7  Next   
 Comments Add your comment 

 About The Author
Leon Chaitow ND, DO, MROA practicing naturopath, osteopath, and acupuncturist in the United Kingdom, with over forty years clinical experience, Chaitow is Editor-in-Chief, of the ...more
 
 From Our Friends
 
 
 
Popular & Related Products
 
Popular & Featured Events
Wellness Inventory Certification Training
     September 16-December 16, 2014
     Teleclass, CA USA
 
Additional Calendar Links
 
Stevia Products & Info
 
Dimensions of Wellness
Wellness, Thinking, dimension!

Home       Wellness       Health A-Z       Alternative Therapies       Find a Practitioner       Healthy Products       Bookstore       Wellness Inventory
Healthy Kitchen       Healthy Woman       Healthy Man       Healthy Child       Healthy Aging       Wellness Center       Nutrition Center       Fitness Center
Free Newsletter      What Doctor's Don't Tell You      Stevia.com      Discount Lab Tests      First Aid      Global Health Calendar      Privacy Policy     Contact Us
Disclaimer: The information provided on HealthWorld Online is for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Are you ready to embark on a personal wellness journey with our whole person approach?
Learn More/Subscribe
Are you looking to create or enhance a culture of wellness in your organization?
Learn More
Do you want to become a wellness coach?
Learn More
Free Webinar