Ran across an interesting article in today’s Wall Street Journal. The first paragraph is intriguing:
“In the 1930s, researchers stumbled onto a surprisingly simple way to slow the biological forces of aging: cutting normal calorie intake by about a third. Scientists found it boosts animals’ life spans by 30% to 40%, and considerable evidence suggests that calorie restriction, or CR, would slow human aging too.”
How does calorie resitrction actually help you live longer? People have many assumptions as to why this is the case. Slower metabolism, fewer free radicals andÂ reduced cellular divisions are all cited in research literature.
In the article, Harvard Prof David SinclairÂ provides a new explanation, linking calorie restriction to activation of specific gene that produces many of the life-extending effects.Â Dr. Sinclair has started a company to pursue commercial application of a drug that will activate this gene, without any need toÂ change your diet. Â
Perhaps it would be more effective, and more safe, to just educate people on the merits of a vegan/vegetarian or mostly raw-food diet? These diets are typically lower-calorie (I say typically, as it is very possible to be an unhealthy vegan).Â That fact that over $80 million has been raised by Dr. Sincliar’s company isÂ testament to the potential market demand. It amazes me how people would be more willing to spend money on a new drug with potential unknown side effects than make a natural dietary adjustment. Â