There’s a fascinating interview today in MIT’s Technology Review with John Holloszy, a Wash U researcher who’s studying a group of people on calorie restricted diets.
As you might know from our previous posts on this subject, calorie restriction is the only proven way to extend life in the animal kingdom. Now, a bunch of human beings are trying it. They’re called CRONies — for calorie restricted, on optimal nutrition:
Technology Review: What’s the most striking finding you’ve seen in those following a calorie-restricted diet so far?
John Holloszy: They are powerfully protected against the diseases of old age, such as heart disease. They have low levels of cholesterol and triglycerides and extremely low blood pressure — similar to a young child, around 100/60. As a result of the low blood pressure, they have less strain on the arteries, which are much more elastic than usual for people of their age. Their hearts resemble the heart of a person 17 years younger. They also have very good insulin sensitivity, so they are not going to get Type 2 diabetes.
Wow, sounds amazing! But then:
TR: You also compared them to a group of runners to see how caloric restriction measures up to exercise.
JH: Yes. We studied a group of master athletes, who are the thinnest group of people eating regular diets that we could find. They were very lean, but not as thin as the CRONies. It’s hard to find anyone that thin, unless they’re sick.