Thanks to advances in technology and research on how diet affects the aging process, TV star Dr. Oz says it might be possible for some people to live to see their 120th birthdays. Thousands of people around the world believe they’ve found the key to extreme longevity–calorie restriction. The theory is that by eating less and restricting the number of calories consumed, you can trigger a genetic switch that slows the aging process.
“Whenever you’re thinking about calorie restriction, you should continually think about getting the most nutritional bang per calorie,” Dr. Oz says. How does a limited diet change how your body ages? Dr. Oz says when you restrict your calories, the body understands that it doesn’t have any resources to waste.”The body gets really efficient,” he says. “You turn on this new chemical pathway we never knew existed called the sirtuin pathway. What it tells you is, ‘don’t make more babies because you don’t have the excess abundant energy to do that —— just live longer.'”
The body’s cells also benefit when calories are limited. “We don’t have toxic waste products coming out of our energy cells,” Dr. Oz says. “So we’re actually able to get the individual cell lines to live longer.”
Many people tout the benefits of a calorie restriction diet, but Dr. Oz says there are some risks. Without proper research and medical advice, some people may eat the wrong kind of foods and become vitamin deficient. If you chose to get all your calories from burgers or sweets, Dr. Oz says you could develop health problems.
People who’ve adopted healthy eating plans that follow the program’s principles will see a difference over time. “When we take people who are restricting their calories and look at how young their hearts are or how young their arteries are, they end up turning out, over a couple of years, to get younger…not older,” Dr. Oz says. “That’s the best evidence.”
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