A R C H I V E S
Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|Less calories => longer life|
|04/08/04 at 12:31:36|
I've often wondered how, when he used to eat so little, the Prophet(SAW) survived to the age of 65. Well, here's the answer. Subhanallah, fits in exactly with what the Prophet (SAW) said about what to do when eating : one third food, one third water, and one third empty.
March 26, 2004
News Review from Harvard Medical School -- Longer Life On Less Food
Eating a reduced-calorie diet helps mice to live longer, even if the regime is started late in life, according to a study published online March 25 by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Study researchers at the University of California, Riverside, told the Associated Press it's not clear whether the same benefits would apply to humans.
By Howard LeWine, M.D.,
Harvard Medical School
What Is The Doctor's Reaction?
As early as 1935, scientific evidence demonstrated that restricting calories can slow down the aging process and extend life. Since then studies on a number of different species, from yeast and worms to fish and rats, have confirmed these findings. Even if the calorie restriction starts later in life, recent studies show that eating less retards the aging process and increases longevity in mice.
Will calorie restriction do the same for humans? Logically it seems that the answer must be yes. Overeating that leads to obesity clearly increases the risks for chronic diseases, such as diabetes and osteoarthritis, and decreases life span. However, we don't know if eating fewer calories independent of body weight and daily exercise has similar health benefits.
Scientists are also uncertain as to why calorie restriction in animals works to retard aging. Conventional theories include a reduction in metabolic rate with less production of oxygen free radicals, a more efficient response of cells to insulin, and less sympathetic stimulation (fight or flight response). But a study done on yeast published last year in the scientific journal "Nature" showed some surprising results. Yeast organisms that were sugar-deprived (and exposed to less calories) actually revved up their metabolism and increased oxygen consumption. The low calorie environment "turned on" a gene that made this happen, and these calorie-restricted yeast lived longer compared to those bathed in higher sugar solutions.
What Changes Can I Make Now?
Based on the evidence we have today, the quality of the food you eat must still be rated as more important than the quantity, assuming that your Body Mass Index (BMI) is not greater than 25. A diet that maximizes intake of vegetables, fruit, whole grain foods, soy products, fish, nuts, and beans is the first priority. Given that almost all animal species that have been studied show less age-related degenerative diseases and longer life span with calorie restriction, it is highly likely that this will be beneficial to humans.
To maintain body weight, we need many fewer calories than most of us eat. A general guide is:
11 - 12 calories per pound of body weight if you get no exercise
13 - 14 calories per pound of body weight if you are somewhat active
15 - 17 calories per pound of body weight if you exercise five or more times per week
If your BMI is greater than 30, then you need to reduce weight and should cut the number of calories daily by 200 to 300. People have significant variation in how efficiently they use calories for energy, burn them as heat, or store them as fat. The simple calorie guide is a place to get started but will probably need adjustment.
What Can I Expect Looking To The Future?
Natural models to determine how many extra years and how much improved quality of life calorie restriction might give us don't exist. Human populations that have been forced to eat less because of decreased availability of food are not good examples because of the poor quality of what food was available.
Whether we can extend our maximum life span of 110 years (with some rare exceptions, the longest being 122 years) with calorie restriction will be very difficult to study. The National Institute of Aging is giving it a try. The institute funded a study started in 2002 called CALERIE (Comprehensive Assessment of Long-term Effects of Reducing Intake of Energy) to track biological markers of aging in non-obese people on calorie-restricted diets.
Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board