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Dieting Monkeys Stay Younger in Study, May Hold Lesson for Man

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Celebration Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-10-09 07:18 AM
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Dieting Monkeys Stay Younger in Study, May Hold Lesson for Man

Eating less helped monkeys live longer and prevented disease in a study that holds promise for humans hoping to stay young.

U.S. scientists, who already knew that cutting calories prolonged the life of rodents and worms, first began to investigate the effect on rhesus monkeys in 1989. Their findings are published in the journal Science today.

The dieting animals didnt just live longer, they had less than half the cancer and heart disease of those allowed to splurge, Richard Weindruch of the University of Wisconsin- Madison and his colleagues found. None of the lean monkeys developed diabetes and the parts of their brains devoted to mental and motor functions were better preserved.

We observed that caloric restriction reduced the risk of developing an age-related disease by a factor of three and increased survival, Weindruch said in a statement.

Half of the animals who ate freely died in the course of the 20-year study, while 80 percent of the dieting monkeys are still alive, the researcher shows. The animals on a diet got 30 percent fewer calories than those eating normally. One of the studys surprises comes from evidence that dieting can preserve a primates mind as well as his body, the researchers said.

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Xipe Totec Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-10-09 07:22 AM
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1. Chubby people live longest: Japan study
Proof that the internet has enough information to support any position, no matter how contradictory:

Health experts have long warned of the risk of obesity, but a new Japanese study warns that being very skinny is even more dangerous, and that slightly chubby people live longer.

People who are a little overweight at age 40 live six to seven years longer than very thin people, whose average life expectancy was shorter by some five years than that of obese people, the study found.

"We found skinny people run the highest risk," said Shinichi Kuriyama, an associate professor at Tohoku University's Graduate School of Medicine who worked on the long-term study of middle-aged and elderly people.
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Celebration Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-10-09 07:29 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. this may be due to cause/effect things
Some people are skinny because of medical or psychological reasons. Possibly their digestion is bad, etc. The Japan study was just correlation, not causation.

With the monkeys, however, it was prospective, and the diet was strictly controlled. The diet was being studied prospectively, not the weight retrospectively. Big difference.

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realFedUp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-10-09 08:00 AM
Response to Original message
3. Were the monkeys eating Big Macs?
Sorry, didn't read the whole article.
Seems to me it's what you eat in
smaller quantities maybe than the

I imagine eating an avocado
is better than a fistful of fries.
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fasttense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-10-09 08:10 AM
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4. Lab animals are well taken care of.
They don't get diseases (unless it's part of the study). They don't suffer poor environmental conditions (unless it's part of the study) such are freezing temperatures, excessive heat, and overwork. What food and water they do get is consistent. They are specially bred to keep out genetic problems (unless it's part of the study).

So what you have is fairly well pampered animals, with good genetic backgrounds, living longer when their food intake is reduced. But in the real world, we must face things like exhaustion, disease, freezing temperatures and excessive heat. Then there is the concern of getting the correct amount of vitamins and minerals in smaller diets. Women, especially when older tend to lack enough calcium, when younger they tend to lack enough iron. Reducing the quantity of their diet may also reduce the needed vitamin and mineral intake.

That's why a little extra weight actually helps humans live longer, because they have a cushion, so to speak, to protect them from malnourished when they are ill, or must expend more energy than their calories allow for.

The human animal is always on a bell curve. The middle is always going to do better than the extremes, despite the ability of pampered lab animals to do well with less food.
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-10-09 08:22 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Very good post.
Nice analysis.
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Celebration Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-10-09 08:44 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. And we can't pamper ourselves?
Of course, the way to settle this would be to do a prospective study on humans, but that would be a bit difficult.
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zbdent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-10-09 08:50 AM
Response to Original message
7. just wait for them to discover deep-fried frozen twinkies ...
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steven johnson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-11-09 07:44 AM
Response to Original message
8. But "intention to lose weight" is associated with 18 year mortality in the Finnish twin study
The weight loss literature usually uses surrogate endpoints to say that dieting is good for you. The Finnish Twin Study, however, gives a somewhat different outcome.

When overweight people intentionally lose weight they may not necessarily be improving their long term survival. In a paper in this month's PLoS Medicine researchers from Finland studied a very large group of twins who had been questioned in 1977 on intention to lose weight and then followed up for 18 years. Excluding those who had illnesses, they found that in the overweight group who intended to lose weight there was a small but statistically significant increase in mortality compared with those that had stable weight or who gained weight. However, the actual number of people who died was small -268 only- and most people were only moderately overweight. So, as the authors caution, people who are very overweight or have weight-related illnesses should not be deterred from losing weight. What is needed is more research; as the authors say "the long-term effects of weight loss are complex, and they may be composed of oppositely operating effects with net results reflecting the balance between these effects." Most importantly perhaps public health efforts should be directed to prevent people becoming overweight in the first place.

Intention to lose weight and mortality

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wuvuj Donating Member (874 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-13-09 06:35 AM
Response to Original message
9. Fat Americans about to be recycled?
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