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Is the Fountain of Youth at Your Local Market?

Is the Fountain of Youth at Your Local Market?


Ponce de Le'n supposedly spent years searching for the fabled fountain of youth. But if researchers at the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center are right, the key to slowing your aging may be a lot closer than expected -- your local supermarket. In the journal Science, scientists report that their 20-year study found that a low-calorie diet dramatically increased the lifespans of rhesus monkeys. Animals given a daily diet 30% lower in calories were three times less likely to die of age-related diseases during the study period than those given a standard diet. Even anecdotal observations suggested that monkeys on a calorie-restricted diet looked healthier and were more physically active than those of the same age who ate normally. Past studies have shown that mice, worms, and flies also have increased lifespans through calorie-restricted diets, the researchers note. "All these pieces put together provide rather convincing evidence in our view that caloric restriction can slow the aging process in a primate species," lead researcher Richard Weindruch, a University of Wisconsin professor, told the Associated Press. The team theorizes that caloric restriction reprograms the body's metabolism in a way that slows aging. Next up: a small human study, funded by the federal government.

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