Calorie restriction (CR) is a dietary intervention with potential benefits for healthspan improvement and lifespan extension. In 53 (34 CR and 19 control) non-obese adults, we tested the hypothesis that energy expenditure (EE) and its endocrine mediators are reduced with a CR diet over 2 years. Approximately 15% CR was achieved over 2 years, resulting in an average 8.7 kg weight loss, whereas controls gained 1.8 kg. In the CR group, EE measured over 24 hr or during sleep was approximately 80-120 kcal/day lower than expected on the basis of weight loss, indicating sustained metabolic adaptation over 2 years. This metabolic adaptation was accompanied by significantly reduced thyroid axis activity and reactive oxygen species (F2-isoprostane) production. Findings from this 2-year CR trial in healthy, non-obese humans provide new evidence of persistent metabolic slowing accompanied by reduced oxidative stress, which supports the rate of living and oxidative damage theories of mammalian aging.
Keywords: aging; energy expenditure; intervention; nutrition.
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