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article imageDoes calorie restriction lead to weight loss?

By Tim Sandle     Apr 4, 2014 in Science
A study on monkeys, drawn from a 25-year study of diet and aging, indicates a significant reduction in mortality and in age-associated diseases among those with calorie-restricted diets.
There has been a debate in the media over the last year or so about whether reducing the calorie intake helps off-set diseases and extends life. Putting aside the ethics of investigating diets on monkeys, some new research has produced some interesting findings.
The results refer to a study of 76 rhesus monkeys which began in 1989. The aim was to investigate the effects of a reduced-calorie diet on nonhuman primates. The study was carried out at the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center in Madison.
The results showed that when they were 7 to 14 years of age, some monkeys were given a diet reduced in calories by 30 percent. The comparison monkeys, which ate as much as they wanted, had an increased risk of disease 2.9 times that of the calorie-restricted group, and a threefold increased risk of death. Chief among the metabolic deficits is diabetes, where the effect of the calorie restriction seemed to reduce the incidence of the disease.
Scientists hope that the findings will illuminate their understanding of the effects of calorie restriction in people. Researchers are studying drugs that affect the mechanisms that are active in caloric restriction. There seems to be considerable big pharma interest in some of these drugs.
The findings have been published in the journal Nature Communications. However, the outcome is not accepted by all researchers. According to the New York Times, a Baltimore based research team have said that its monkeys on reduced-calorie diets were living no longer than those given a normal diet. The differing results puzzled the researchers.
More about Calorie, Weight loss, Pills, Monkeys, animal experiments
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