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Trial finds calorie restriction improves quality of life

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Reprinted with the kind permission of Life Extension.

May 4 2016. An article appearing on May 2, 2016 in JAMA Internal Medicine reports improvement in mood, sleep, sexual function and quality of life in nonobese men and women who practiced calorie restriction for two years.

"In humans, calorie restriction may improve health span, yet concerns remain about potential negative effects of calorie restriction," note authors Corby K. Martin, PhD, of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center and colleagues.

The Comprehensive Assessment of Long-term Effects of Reducing Intake of Energy Phase 2 trial assigned 66 men aged 20 to 50 years and 152 women between the ages of 20 and 47 years to diets in which calorie intake was restricted by 25% or a diet that allowed the consumption of as much food as desired.

"To our knowledge, the Comprehensive Assessment of Long-term Effects of Reducing Intake of Energy Phase 2 (CALERIE 2) trial is the first study to examine the effects of long-term calorie restriction on disease risk factors and predictors of longevity in nonobese humans," the authors observe.

Participants completed questionnaires that assessed quality of life, mood, sleep quality and sexual function before the intervention and at 12 and 24 months. Test scores at 24 months for the calorie restricted group revealed better mood, less tension, improved general health, and better sex drive and relationship quality in comparison with the non-restricted group. Calorie restricted participants also reported better sleep after one year on the diet.

"Calorie restriction among primarily overweight and obese persons has been found to improve quality of life, sleep and sexual function, and the results of the present study indicate that two years of calorie restriction is unlikely to negatively affect these factors in healthy adults; rather, calorie restriction is likely to provide some improvement," the authors conclude.

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