Caloric restriction, decreasing caloric intake by 20-30%, was first shown to extend life in rats nearly 80 years ago. Since that time, limiting food intake for longevity has been investigated in species from yeast to humans. In yeast and lower animals, caloric restriction has repeatedly been demonstrated to lengthen the life span. Studies of caloric restriction in non-human primates and in humans are ongoing and initial results suggest prolongation of life as well as prevention of age-related disease. There is also data in rodents suggesting that short term caloric restriction has beneficial effects on fertility. Although caloric restriction has many positive effects on health and longevity, quality of life on a restricted diet as well as the ability to maintain that diet long term are concerns that must be considered in humans.
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