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Calorie restriction reduces weight, cardiometabolic risk factors in human study

September 2 2015. The September 9, 2015 issue of the Journals of Gerontology: Series A reports the outcome of a two year human study of calorie restriction (CR) which found a reduction in body weight and other factors among those whose caloric intake was reduced.

The Comprehensive Assessment of Long term Effects of Reducing Intake of Energy (CALERIE) study randomized 218 nonobese men and women between the ages of 21 to 51 years to receive an unrestricted diet or one that contained 25% fewer calories. Although participants in the restricted group only managed to consume an average of 11.7% less calories than the ad lib group, a number of benefits were nevertheless observed.  

The restricted group maintained an average loss of 10% of their body weight in comparison to negligible weight change in the ad lib group. At 12 and 24 months, the calorie restricted group had decreased levels of the thyroid hormone triiodothyronine (T3) which, when lowered, has been linked with longer life.  At 24 months, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, a marker or inflammation, was also lower. Blood pressure, triglycerides, total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL), were reduced among those who consumed fewer calories, and glucose control was improved at both time points.

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