Eating Ourselves to Death
By William FaloonJuly 2006
By William Faloon
A fascinating article published in Scientific American shows how caloric restriction favorably affects the genes that cause us to age and die.1
According to Scientific American, restricting food intake is the only longevity strategy “absolutely proven to work”! The article went further to state that reducing food consumption by only 30-40% can result in not just a longer life, but also a far healthier one.
As Life Extension members know, a huge body of evidence indicates that common diseases—including cancer,2-10 diabetes,11-13 cardiovascular,14-19 and neurological disorders20-26—can be forestalled if we could only eat less. Studies funded by the Life Extension Foundation and others have identified specific longevity genes that are favorably altered when food consumption is reduced.27-30
Can You Obtain the Benefits of Caloric Restriction from a Pill?
As we discover how caloric restriction prolongs healthy longevity, it is tantalizing to think that future medicines will be developed to emulate the beneficial gene-expression changes that occur when fewer calories are consumed.
Back in 2002, Life Extension researchers discovered that the drug metformin produces gene-expression changes similar to many of those caused by caloric restriction in mice.31-33 In 2004, Life Extension scientists expanded on research showing that grape extract with resveratrol also causes many of the gene-expression changes that occur in response to reduced food intake in mice.34,35
Previous studies have found that feeding resveratrol to yeast, worms, or flies—or placing them on calorie-restricted diets—extends their life span by about 30-70%.36-47
It is tempting to speculate that humans could achieve some of the benefits of caloric restriction merely by taking grape extract with resveratrol. While a myriad of health benefits are associated with resveratrol consumption, it is not yet proven that resveratrol by itself provides humans with the remarkable benefits of caloric restriction.
Even if resveratrol or metformin prove effective in extending human longevity, there are still pathological consequences to overeating that can result in premature disease and death.48,49 In other words, those seeking to maintain optimal health may always want to avoid over-consumption of calories.
A Novel Method to Suppress Appetite
In the recent Scientific American article that discussed our longevity genes, the prospect of humans radically reducing their food intake was not considered feasible. According to the authors:
“Yet if humans are ever to reap the health benefits of caloric restriction, radical dieting is not a reasonable option.” 1
When this statement was made, the authors were probably unaware that a natural compound had just been developed that suppresses the desire to eat by 29% and reduces food intake in humans by an astounding 36% compared to placebo.50-56
What is even more exciting about this novel compound is that is has been scientifically demonstrated to suppress hunger mechanisms in a way that enables people to reduce their meal portion size and not feel hungry.
The Most Significant Longevity Enhancer Yet Developed!
Based on the data we have reviewed, this appetite-suppressing supplement may become the hottest weight-loss product of all time. We at Life Extension, however, view it somewhat differently.
It is well known that being overweight or obese predisposes humans to a plethora of degenerative diseases. The conventional and alternative medical communities are unanimous in believing that Americans would be healthier if they reduced their body fat. No one disagrees with this fact.
Life Extension scientists, however, believe that even those who eat a normal diet are adversely affecting their longevity genes in a way that shortens both the average and maximum life span.
While most people will use this new appetite-suppressing supplement to achieve cosmetic weight loss, we at Life Extension urge all members (not suffering from malnutrition) to consider using it as a way to achieve some degree of caloric restriction without feeling hungry.
We know that many will enjoy seeing their weight drop, but the real benefit is that by enabling people to consistently eat less, this non-stimulating, natural appetite suppressant could add many years to our healthy life spans.
Be the First to Know
In this month’s issue, we feature an in-depth scientific report on this new appetite-suppressing compound. Members will be impressed by the meticulous human research that has been conducted to document its hunger-controlling effects.
As scientists long ago discovered, our bodies have evolved in a way to protect us against famine by inducing us to overeat whenever food is plentiful. In today’s world, food is widely available, thus stimulating multiple biological pathways in our bodies that tempt us to consume far too many calories. This novel compound safely turns down these hunger mechanisms, thus enabling humans to enjoy satiety while consuming fewer calories.
Members of the Life Extension Foundation are the first to learn about this natural method of reducing calorie intake, which should result in steady weight reduction while favorably affecting longevity genes in a way that increases healthy life span.
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