In a new study, researchers found that moderately reducing caloric intake over a period of two years in young and middle-aged healthy people may help prevent heart disease and diabetes.
The findings are from the Comprehensive Assessment of Long-term Effects of Reducing Intake of Energy (CALERIE) study.
In the study, the researchers examined the effects of two-year caloric restriction in humans.
They tested Over 200 young and middle-aged normal-weight or moderately overweight adults. These people followed either a calorie restriction diet or their usual diets.
After two years, participants in the calorie-restriction group had reduced their daily caloric intake by 12% and maintained, on average, a 10% loss in body weight.
The team found that the people in this group experienced big improvements in heart health and metabolic functions.
They had healthier waist circumference, blood pressure, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, insulin function and fasting blood sugar.
In addition, their C-reactive protein, a marker of systemic inflammation linked to multiple chronic conditions and diseases of age, was improved.
According to the researchers, there are no drugs can have such profound effects on such a broad range of cardio-metabolic risk factors.
The finding suggests that dietary practice may even younger people in good health.
CALERIE was the first project that follows on evidence from several model organisms showing that calorie restriction increased both health span and life span.
The leader of the study is Dr. William E. Kraus, M.D., of Duke University School of Medicine.
The study is published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.
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