Aging, although inevitable can be slowed through proper nutrition.
There are a lot of talk about diets that slow aging. I am not making the same mistake of advancing those mythical anti-aging claims. I have been looking for scientifically proven nutritional interventions that can slow aging. So far, only three nutritional interventions have been scientifically proven to slow aging.
Conventionally we have been conditioned to think that; the more food you eat, the more healthy you are and possibly the longer you will live. This is totally contrary to scientific evidence on aging.
Science claims that calorie restriction (eating little food) is the way to retard aging and add years.
Calorie (energy obtained from food) restriction is defined as under nutrition without malnutrition.
Calorie restriction does not only retard aging but also extends both mean (survival) and maximal (longevity) life span and delays the onset of a number of life-shortening diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and cancer.
It has been experimentally demonstrated that moneys fed a calorie restricted diet for 10 years showed low blood pressure, reduced intra-abdominal fat, and decreased levels of circulating insulin, glucose and cholesterol. Therefore, calorie restricted diet puts these monkeys at a lower risk for diabetes and cardiovascular diseases than normal fed monkeys.
The survival (median life span) of the monkeys fed calorie-restricted diets exceeded that of ad libitum–fed monkeys.
Foods rich in antioxidants have been shown to slow oxidative reactions that lead to tissue and organ degenerations. Antioxidants can be obtained naturally for foods or through supplementation.
Diet rich in n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) modulates many age-associated degenerative diseases (atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, and inflammatory disease).
Rats and mice fed with food high in polyunsaturated fats have shown to experience extended life span and delayed the onset and progression of diseases compared to those fed corn oil.
Calorie restriction is the only nutrition intervention shown to slow aging. The antioxidants and polyunsaturated fats act by reducing age-related diseases which are the main causes of aging.
- EJ Masoro. (2000) Caloric restriction and aging: an update. Exp Gerontol 35: 299–305.
- Mace, K, Barry Halliwell. (2004). Influence of Diet on Aging and Longevity in Bioprocess and Biotechnology for functional foods and Nutraceuticals. 317-376