Scientists have tried for decades to find a way to help people live longer. So far, the only proven way is to sharply restrict calories (up to 25%). Doing so lowers insulin (the hormone of aging and death) and it reduces damage to DNA.

But calorie-restriction studies have only been done on animals. Up until now, it's been too difficult to make sure people follow to such a strict diet. Now scientists have found a way to conduct a study on humans. And their conclusions are very exciting.

Researchers at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge found 48 sedentary non-obese men and women. They divided them into four separate groups: a control group and three test groups. Two of the test groups had their calories sharply restricted. The third got a combination of calorie restriction and more exercise. They supplied the food for all meals and closely monitored their diet to make sure they followed the diet.

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All three test groups had lower insulin levels and body temperature (reduction in metabolic rate). Additionally, these groups suffered lower levels of DNA damage. There were no changes in the control group.

These are the same results we've seen time and time again with animals. And it extended their life significantly. So if you're interested in longer life, calorie restriction is one way to go. But unless you're grossly overweight, it's not something I push. Cutting food (calorie) intake by 25% is not palatable for most people.

However, there's evidence in animals that protein restriction will do the same. It's a lot easier to do and it has similar effects. So I do encourage you to limit your maximum daily intake of protein to 33 grams.

If neither of these appeals to you, the current study found that a combination of calorie restriction and exercise was also effective. So you might achieve the desired results by cutting calories a little and increasing exercise a lot. For enjoyment and quality of life, I think that makes the most sense.

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