Fasting and calorie restriction can delay the signs of AGING, researcher finds
02/03/2019 // Michelle Simmons // Views

If you want to age gracefully, consider changing your lifestyle. The food you eat,  and whether you smoke and drink may affect the way you look.

A researcher claims that fasting can slow down aging, pointing to a landmark study made in 2017 which revealed that adults age 0.6 years slower if they consume 25 percent less calories per day. This diet is similar to the diet of a grown man who consumes 1,875 calories within a 24-hour period or 1,500 calories for a woman, that is if guidelines are considered. The researcher, Rozalyn Anderson, said that people are often unaware of the “amazing fact” that wrinkles can be prevented. The landmark study was published in The Journals of Gerontology, Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, which Anderson edits.

The longevity effect of calorie reduction was first discovered more than 80 years ago in studies on mice. Technological advancements have enabled scientists to make even further progress in confirming the links with the widely criticized diets. The criticisms were about them slowing down metabolism, causing fatigue and nutrient deficiencies, and harming fertility in men and women. However, studies repeatedly found that calorie reduction can decrease the risk of deadly diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

A study called CALERIE, which was published in May 2017, displayed the most distinct effects of the diet on lifespan. It revealed that a low-calorie diet helped people be younger by 0.11 years, while those who had a normal diet aged by 0.71 years. Moreover, the study discovered that food restriction seems to make the body more capable in preventing age-related diseases.


“Remarkably, a caloric restriction (CR) has been shown to be effective in delaying aging in multiple species and the results in humans look equally promising. Indeed for many studies, CR is used as the gold-standard for enhanced longevity against which new drugs and anti-aging strategies are measured,”Anderson explained.

Her comments were published in the latest special issue of the journal, which focused mainly on restrictive diets that target the biology of aging and contains a range of studies, involving mice and humans.

“Ultimately what these studies show is that what you eat influences how you age, and it's not all bad news,” she said.

Smoking and drinking also speed up aging

A study from Bristol University surveyed over 500 people to choose the most attractive of twins where one smoked and the other did not. The results revealed that men found women non-smokers the most attractive in two-third of cases, while women picked non-smoking men as the most attractive 68 percent of the time.

Smoking can increase the process of aging, even after only ten years, because nicotine causes the blood vessels in the outermost layers of the skin to narrow, while the chemicals in tobacco smoke impair collagen and elastin that give the skin its elasticity. Moreover, these cause wrinkles which can be evident in facial expressions made when smoking, such as pursing the lips when inhaling or squinting to keep smoke out of the eyes.

On the other hand, excessive alcohol consumption can be bad for the skin, especially for women. A study found that heavy drinking or consuming more than 14 units of alcohol causes toxicity and immediate harm to a woman's facial skin that is evident the next morning. In addition, the study discovered that its effects on the skin for a 40-year-old woman can last 28 days. Although younger women recover faster, the effects can still last for weeks. Other symptoms include dark circles and puffiness around the eyes, dehydration on the forehead, chin and lips that causes lines and wrinkles, and broken blood vessels on the nose and cheeks can cause redness which makes skin loose and sag.

Sources include: 1 2

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