Caloric Restriction and Aging in Humans
Animal studies suggest that caloric restriction (CR), or consuming fewer calories, increases
life span, and also protects against some aging-related disease processes such as
artherosclerosis and type II diabetes. However, it appears that simply burning more calories
through physical activity does not increase life span by itself. It is not known how CR
affects humans, but based on this evidence it appears that the reduced total intake and
metabolism of food is the main factor, rather than increased exercise alone.
To test this, volunteers will be placed on a program of either 20% caloric restriction or
20% increase of energy expenditure by exercise, or in a control group to be instructed in
healthy living. All will be evaluated on a number of potential markers of aging, on body
composition, and on risk factors for artherosclerosis and diabetes.
Participation in the study will last for 12 months. The Diet group will receive individual
instruction from a registered dietician. The Exercise group will be given an individualized
exercise program created by a personal trainer. The Healthy Lifestyle group will be given
information on how to make healthier choices; both diet and activity will be discussed. All
participants will be measured every two weeks, and will keep daily food and activity logs.
All will be seen by a physician and will have lab tests done before beginning the study, at
1 month, and then 3 month intervals.
Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Single Blind, Primary Purpose: Prevention
John O. Holloszy, MD
Washington University in St. Louis, School of Medicine
United States: Federal Government
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