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A study from the Food and Drug Administration shows that restricting food intake a little prolongs the lives of rats.

Rats that had their normal food intake reduced by 10 percent lived longer than those fed unlimited amounts of food, and longer than those who had more harsh food restrictions. They had smaller bodies, liver, prostate, and testicular weights and body length, but the brain, testicles and skull length were normal.

This study suggests that most of us overeat when we eat until we are full. If we could restrict food, we may live longer. But restricting more than 10 percent of our calories would causes us to miss essential nutrients, which could shorten our lives. The best way to eat less food without feeling hungry is to omit foods that cause the highest rise in blood sugars after eating, such as bakery products, pastas, and sugar added foods; and to try to eat salads at least twice a day.

The effects of different levels of dietary restriction on aging and survival in the Sprague-Dawley rat: Implications for chronic studies. Aging - Clinical and Experimental Research, 2001, Vol 13, Iss 4, pp 263-272. PH Duffy, JE Seng, SM Lewis, MA Mayhugh, A Aidoo, DG Hattan, DA Casciano, RJ Feuers.

Checked 5/3/07

June 1st, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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