Posted on Apr 29, 2014, 6 a.m.
A long-term study of diet in monkeys have revealed that calorie restriction is associated with a significant reduction in mortality and age-related disease.
Newly published results of a 25-year-long study of diet and aging in a group of monkeys show that calorie restriction is associated with a significant reduction in mortality and the incidence of age-related disease. Study founder, Richard Weindruch, a professor of medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, and colleagues have been studying the effects of a calorie-restricted diet in a group of 76 rhesus monkeys. When the monkeys were 7 to 14 years-old, they were split into two groups: one group was placed on a diet reduced in calories by 30%, while the other group ate as much as they wanted. The latest results show that the monkeys who could eat freely had a 2.9-times increased risk of disease compared to the calorie-restricted group, and a threefold increased risk of death. "We think our study is important because it means the biology we have seen in lower organisms is germane to primates," said Professor Weindruch. "We continue to believe that mechanisms that combat aging in caloric restriction will offer a lead into drugs or other treatments to slow the onset of disease and death."
Colman RJ, Beasley TM, Kemnitz JW, Johnson SC, Weindruch R, Anderson RM. Caloric restriction reduces age-related and all-cause mortality in rhesus monkeys. Nat Commun. 2014;5:3557.