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Calorie Restriction Diet, Does It Work?

By March 24, 2009 - 8:53pm
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I've been reading about calorie restriction diet (CR Society) and how it helps us live a longer and healthier life, but does it really work?

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Hi, Angelica, and thank you for your question!

That's the big question, isn't it? What effect would the Calorie Restriction Diet have on humans who followed it for years, or decades?

We just don't have that kind of information yet. Not enough time has passed. But there are some intriguing results from shorter-term studies.

Here's some info that you might be interested in:

Here's the Calorie Restriction Society's page on the research their members are involved in:


And their page that discusses this in depth, along with links to such things as CR member appearances on programs like 60 Minutes and Oprah:


Here's a New York Magazine article written about the diet; the reporter actually lived the lifestyle for two months as well:


An excerpt:

"In 1991, the proposition was simplified somewhat when a team of eight bioscientists sealed themselves up for a two-year stint inside a giant, airtight terrarium in the Arizona desert — and promptly discovered that the hypothetically self-sustaining ecosystem they’d settled into could barely grow enough food to keep them alive. This revelation might have doomed the experiment (known as Biosphere 2) but for the fact that the team’s physician, UCLA pathologist Roy Walford, had been studying the Calorie Restriction phenomenon for decades and convinced his fellow econauts that — as long as they all ate carefully enough to get their daily share of essential nutrients — a year or two of near starvation wouldn’t hurt. When at last the Biosphere 2 crew emerged from their bubble, tests proved them healthier in nearly every nutritionally relevant respect than when they’d gone in, and the case for Calorie Restriction in humans was no longer purely circumstantial. Fifteen years later, Walford’s CR primer, "Beyond the 120-Year Diet: How to Double Your Vital Years," is in its fifth printing, and an estimated 1,400 people have taken up the diet as a full-time, lifelong practice."

Here's a Psychology Today article on CR:


It would be a significant lifestyle change, and those who write about it are very conscious of how difficult it is to adapt to a diet like this in today's world. Is it something you are considering?

March 27, 2009 - 9:22am
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