An overview of the effectiveness of anti-aging diets
A small team of researchers from the University of Washington and one with the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, has conducted a review of research conducted regarding the effectiveness of anti-aging diets and has found little to suggest they work. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group describes their work and some of the myths they uncovered.
Anti-aging diets, individual foods and supplements have become popular in recent years, spurred on in part, the researchers suggest, by the results of experiments conducted on animals. But they note that much less research has been done to find out if the claims by food and diet makers are true, or if the findings in animals are pertinent to humans. In this new effort, the researchers dug through research papers to find out what has been studied and what has not, and what results have been found.
The researchers note that some research has suggested that calorie restricting diets can extend lifespan in test animals such as mice—likely because burning calories is tied to the metabolic clock. But thus far, it is not clear if the same is true for humans. To find determine the state of research so far, the researchers looked at the results of intermittent fasting and time restricted eating studies and also the ketogenic diet. They found no evidence that any of them led to increased lifespan in humans. But they also note that their effectiveness has not been seriously studied, as it would require monitoring subjects for a lifetime. That led them to four major myths that have been dispelled by researchers: that restricting calories works every single time a person tries it to extend their lifespan; that restricting calories extends lifespan by stopping cancer; that some nutrients are good or bad regarding lifespan; and finally, that there are any anti-aging diets that actually work as claimed.
The researchers conclude that far too little research has been conducted to determine if the claims of anti-aging diets really do extend the human lifespan.
More information: Mitchell B. Lee et al, Antiaging diets: Separating fact from fiction, Science (2021). DOI: 10.1126/science.abe7365
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