Does Calorie Restriction in Primates Increase Lifespan? Revisiting Studies on Macaques (Macaca mulatta) and Mouse Lemurs (Microcebus murinus)

Bioessays. 2018 Oct;40(10):e1800111. doi: 10.1002/bies.201800111. Epub 2018 Aug 1.


The effects of calorie restriction have now been studied in two non-human primates, the macaque Macaca mulatta and the mouse lemur Microcebus murinus. The study on lemurs and one of the two studies on macaques have reported a lifespan increase. In this review, I argue that these results are better explained by a lifespan decrease in the control group because of a bad diet and/or overfeeding, rather than by a real lifespan increase in calorie-restricted animals. If these results can be readily translated to humans, it would mean that no beneficial effect of calorie restriction on lifespan can be expected in normal-weight or lean people, but that overweight and/or obese people could benefit to some extent from a decrease in excessive food intake.

Keywords: calorie restriction; human beings; non-human primates.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caloric Restriction*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cheirogaleidae / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Longevity / physiology*
  • Macaca mulatta / physiology*
  • Overweight / diet therapy