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Moderate Calorie Restriction Rewires Metabolism Immunity for Longer Health Span

Calorie Restriction improves metabolic and immune responses that help determine both how long a person lives and how many years of good health they enjoy. Two years of modest Calorie Restriction reprogrammed the pathways in fat cells that help regulate the way mitochondria generate energy, the body’s anti-inflammatory responses, and potentially longevity.

Calorie Restriction rewires many metabolic and immune responses that boost lifespan and healthspan. The new study used data gathered by Pennington Biomedical’s CALERIE 2, the longest-running Calorie Restriction trial in humans. The latest research is published in the journal Science.

The study found that people who cut their calorie intake by about 14 percent over two years generated more T cells, which play a crucial role in immune function and slow the aging process. In addition to improving immunity, an increase in T cells is associated with an improved ability to burn stores of fatty acids for energy, Dr. Ravussin said. That’s important because if a person doesn’t burn this fuel, the fat may build up in organs such as the muscle and liver, leading to insulin resistance, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and aging.

The study had another important finding: a potential treatment to reduce age-related inflammation and improve metabolic health. Studies have shown that restricting calories by 40 percent in rodents extended their lives. But there were trade-offs in growth, reproduction, and immunity.

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