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BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 13 April 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:905
  1. Alison Tonks, associate editor (

    Calorie controlled diets reduce oxidative damage to DNA

    Some evidence from experiments on laboratory animals shows that restricting calorie intake can prolong life. It's still unclear how, but researchers believe that a lower metabolic rate and reduced oxidative stress may have something to do with it. To find out if calorie restriction has similar effects in humans, researchers randomly assigned 48 overweight US volunteers to one of four diets for six months. One diet reduced calorie intake by 25%; the second combined 12.5% fewer calories with exercise designed to increase energy expenditure by 12.5%; the third contained only 890 calories a day; and the fourth, the control, supplied 100% of required calories.

    Credit: JAMA

    The groups that had lower intakes of calories lost significantly more weight than controls (10-14%). They also had greater reductions in two out of three accepted biomarkers for longevity in animals—core body temperature and serum concentration of insulin. The calorie controlled diets all …

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