Eating Less Could Extend Your Life by 20 Years

Eating Less Could Extend Your Life By 20 Years

Thu 05 Jul 2012

Story by Food Revolution Team

Research Suggests Eating Less Could Extend Your Life by 20 Years

A recent study which looked into how genetics and lifestyle can be adapted to offset the effects of ageing has reported that eating 40% less food could extend a person’s life by 20 years.

Researchers at the Institute of Healthy Ageing at University College London (UCL) are studying genetics and lifestyle factors, including diet, and how to develop treatments to combat ageing and extend the healthy lifestyle of humans.

While these researchers are not investigating cancers, arthritis, or diabetes they believe that these are all symptoms of one common cause – ageing - and that by treating the “disease” of ageing, they may also be able to treat these diseases.

Through their investigations on the effects of ageing in organisms such as fruit flies, mice, rats and yeast worms, researchers at UCL have found that modified diets can prolong healthy lifespan. These results indicate that such treatments may have beneficial effects for humans, as these organisms share some of the same genes as humans and age in similar ways.

According to lead researcher Dr Piper “If you reduce the diet of a rat by 40 per cent it will live for 20 or 30 per cent longer. So we would be talking 20 years of human life.”

This field of study requires much more research, Dr Piper reports that it is "all theoretical at the moment" and for the time being "there is no timeline on when it could be used for humans."

Scientists at the UCL will continue to investigate this area and human ageing, and focus on how genetics, lifestyle and particularly diet can be changed to slow the ageing process and extend the healthy lifestyle of humans, adding years or even decades to a person’s life.

Although there is much more research to be done in this area before the results can be transitioned into effective advice and treatment for humans, it is another talking point for how important our diet is and the impact of what we eat, and how much we eat, has on our quality of life and life expectancy.

Let us know what you think by posting on our Food Revolution Community page or joining the #foodrevolution conversation with @foodrev on twitter.

Find out more here.

The Food Revolution Team Images: Taken from The Institute of Healthy Ageing Blog, University College London Website and the Institute of Healthy Ageing.


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