If excessive eating leads to obesity, resulting in many health problems, controlled eating should have had the opposite effect. We all thought dieting would help in weight loss and also improve our health and longevity. But, we could have been thinking wrong all this time. Many studies have claimed that Spartan diet robustly extends lifespan and delays age-related diseases in many species, but a latest research suggests that lifespan and healthspan may not be directly linked under dietary restriction.
Researchers from the Kapahi lab at the Buck Institute studied 160 genetically distinct strains of fruit fly to assess nutrient-dependent changes in lifespan and age-related changes in physical activity to measure healthspan. The team discovered that while 97 percent of strains showed some lifespan or health span extension in response to dietary restriction, only 50 percent of strains showed a significantly positive response to dietary restriction for both. Thirteen percent of the strains were more vigorous, yet died sooner with dietary restriction; 5 percent lived longer, but spent more time in poor health. The results were published in the journal of ‘Current Biology’.
Pankaj Kapahi, PhD, Buck professor and senior author on the paper explained, “Dietary restriction works, but may not be the panacea for those wanting to extend healthspan, delay age-related diseases, and extend lifespan. Our study is surprising and gives a glimpse into what’s likely going to happen in humans, because we’re all different and will likely respond differently to the effects of dietary restriction. Furthermore, our results question the idea that lifespan extension will always be accompanied by improvement of healthspan.”