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What Does the Latest Research Say About Anti-Aging Diets?

A group of researchers took it upon themselves to evaluate the effectiveness of so-called “anti-aging” diets. Here is what they found.

The team of researchers from the University of Washington and one with the Pennington Biomedical Research Center conducted a review of research conducted regarding the effectiveness of anti-aging diets.

These diets are generally healthy and, on that level, good for you, but unfortunately, the group found little to suggest that they can significantly increase longevity. Their paper published in the journal Science describes their work and some of the myths they uncovered.

Anti-aging diets, individual foods, and supplements have become popular in recent years, spurred on in part, the researchers suggest, by the results of experiments conducted on animals. However, this particular group of researchers questioned how well those animal models actually translate to humans. The researchers dug through research papers to find out what has been studied and what has not and what results have been found.

The researchers acknowledge that there is research to suggest that calorie restricting diets can extend lifespan in test animals such as mice—likely because burning calories is tied to the metabolic clock. But thus far, it is not clear if the same is true for humans.

The researcher specifically looked at the results of intermittent fasting and time-restricted eating studies and also the ketogenic diet. They found no evidence that any of them led to any significant increase of lifespan in humans. But they also note that their effectiveness has not been seriously studied, as it would require monitoring subjects for a lifetime.

After their deep dive into the medical literature, the researchers felt that they could “dispel four major myths that have been perpetrated by advocates of “anti-aging diets.

  1. That restricting calories works every single time a person tries it to extend their lifespan
  2. That restricting calories extends lifespan by stopping cancer
  3. That some nutrients are good or bad regarding lifespan
  4. That there are any antiaging diets that actually work as claimed.

The researchers conclude that far too little research has been conducted to determine if the claims of anti-aging diets really do extend the human lifespan.

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