Dietary Restriction (DR): Reducing Carbs, Fat, Or Protein Instead Of Calories1
"Neither carbohydrate restriction nor lipid restriction appear to be effective alternatives to CR. Lipid restriction has been shown to have no effect on longevity. Regarding carbohydrate, several studies have found that increasing intake either increases or has no effect on longevity, suggesting that restriction would not extend life. Moreover, both forms of macronutrient restriction fail to decrease reactive oxygen species production or oxidative DNA damage."So, low-carb and low-fat won't rival the insane benefits of caloric restriction. But low-protein will, specifically, low-methionine. What foods are good sources of methionine? A quick search in NutritionData says animal foods.
"Protein restriction appears to be a viable candidate for an alternative to CR. Sixteen out of 18 reviewed experiments found that protein restriction increased maximum lifespan in rodents). The average increase in maximum lifespan in the 16 positive studies was approximately 20%. When this is compared to the ~40% increase in lifespan found in many CR investigations, it suggests that protein restriction accounts for approximately half of this effect. Moreover, several of the reviewed studies compensated for the reduction in protein by increasing carbohydrate intake; this balanced total caloric intake and ensured that the prolongation of life was due to restriction of protein and not calories."
A wealth of evidence indicates that methionine restriction might account for most or all of the life-extending benefits of protein restriction:
- Methionine content has an inverse relationship with maximum life span in mammals.
- Of the amino acids, methionine is one of the most vulnerable to oxidation by reactive oxygen species.
- Methionine supplementation increases LDL cholesterol oxidation.
- Raising methionine intake increases plasma homocysteine concentrations, which in turn elevates the risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality.
Next up, periodic fasting.
This was one in a series of 4 posts:
- Dietary Restriction: Impact On Health And Longevity
- Protein Restriction And Longevity
- Periodic Fasting Boosts Health And Longevity
- Additional Health Benefits From Adding Exercise To Diet