Long-term calorie restriction is highly effective in reducing the risk for atherosclerosis in humans

I find this interesting because rapamycin is, at a significant level (though not completely) a caloric restriction mimetic:

Little is known regarding the long-term effects of caloric restriction (CR) on the risk for atherosclerosis. We evaluated the effect of CR on risk factors for atherosclerosis in individuals who are restricting food intake to slow aging. We studied 18 individuals who had been on CR for an average of 6 years and 18 age-matched healthy individuals on typical American diets. We measured serum lipids and lipoproteins, fasting plasma glucose and insulin, blood pressure (BP), high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (CRP), platelet-derived growth factor AB (PDGF-AB), body composition, and carotid artery intima-media thickness (IMT). The CR group were leaner than the comparison group (body mass index, 19.6 +/- 1.9 vs. 25.9 +/- 3.2 kg/m(2); percent body fat, 8.7 +/- 7% vs. 24 +/- 8%). Serum total cholesterol (Tchol), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, ratio of Tchol to high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), triglycerides, fasting glucose, fasting insulin, CRP, PDFG-AB, and systolic and diastolic BP were all markedly lower, whereas HDL-C was higher, in the CR than in the American diet group. Medical records indicated that the CR group had serum lipid-lipoprotein and BP levels in the usual range for individuals on typical American diets, and similar to those of the comparison group, before they began CR. Carotid artery IMT was approximately 40% less in the CR group than in the comparison group. Based on a range of risk factors, it appears that long-term CR has a powerful protective effect against atherosclerosis. This interpretation is supported by the finding of a low carotid artery IMT.

Paper (open access):


Full article below:

Nutrient Intake. Nutrient intakes differed significantly between the diet groups. The CR subjects designed their diets to consume a balance of foods that supply more than 100% of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) for all of the essential nutrients, while minimizing energy content (1,112-1,958 kcal/day). They eat a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, nuts, dairy products, egg whites, wheat and soy proteins, and meat (≈26% of calories from protein, ≈28% from fat, and ≈46% from complex carbohydrates). All of CR group strictly avoid processed foods containing trans fatty acids and high glycemic foods (e.g., refined carbohydrates, desserts, snacks, and soft drinks). The comparison group ate typical U.S. diets containing nearly twice as many calories as the CR subjects (1,976-3,537 kcal/day; ≈18% calories from protein, ≈32% from fat, and ≈50% from carbohydrates).

Characteristic CR (n = 18) Controls (n = 18) P value
Age, years 50.3 ± 10 50.3 ± 11 0.988
Height, m 1.7 ± 0.1 1.8 ± 0.1 0.562
Weight, kg 59.5 ± 5.5 80.9 ± 8.8 0.0001
BMI, kg/m2 (men) 19.6 ± 1.9 25.9 ± 2.7 0.0001
Total body fat, % (men) 6.7 ± 4 22.4 ± 7 0.0001
Trunk fat, % (men) 3.4 ± 4 23.7 ± 9.2 0.0001
Lean mass, % (men) 93.3 ± 4 76.8 ± 7 0.0001

Not difficult to do, calorie-wise. I can barely reach my maintenance calories of 1,600. I have to drink olive oil, and take yogurt with meals to add to calories.

Weight is not difficult to achieve either - 5’7 (1.7m) women weighing 60 kg.

Macro-nutrient composition is not too different (protein, fat, carbs). What foods they avoid seems to have made the difference.

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