Animal studies have demonstrated that diets that severely restrict total calorie intake while providing all the essential nutrients can extend the average lifespan.
Animal studies have revealed that the timing of calorie restriction can have an effect due to the circadian system, which controls daily cycles of physiology, metabolism, and behaviors such as eating. This has also been linked to aging.
In a recently published study, researchers at the University of Texas (UT) Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas investigated whether the timing of meals contributes to the life-extending effects of calorie restriction. The study results appear in the journal Science.
Fewer Calories, Longer Lifespan
To determine if timing of meals had an effect on lifespan, the team used a mice model, in which they divided the animals into 6 groups. One group served as the control, in which the animals could eat as much as they wanted, whenever they wanted.
The remaining 5 groups ate calorie-restricted diets (30-40% fewer calories) with the same total calorie intake but different schedules.
Those in the calorie-restricted groups had a 10% longer lifespan, with 875 days in comparison with the control group who had 800 days of lifespan.
Mice that were on the calorie-restricted diet and ate during the day, which is the inactive phase of their circadian cycle, and fasted 12 hours overnight lived 959 days, almost 20% longer than controls.
By comparison, those who ate only during their active phase (night) and fasted for the remaining 12 hours, lived the longest, with an average of 1,068 days of lifespan, almost 35% longer than the control group.
The researchers also found that calorie-restricted animals had a better regulation of glucose levels and insulin sensitivity.
James Kingsland (2022, May 18). Avoiding late-night meals may have anti-aging benefits. Medical News Today. Retrieved from: