MAY 10, 2022 10:00 AM PDT

Cutting calories and timely eating increases mice longevity

Who doesn’t want to live forever? Let’s face it, the whole mortality thing is boring, and we want to be alive when aliens finally talk to us, right? You exercise, don’t smoke or drink, eat your veggies, but you just can’t seem to shake Father Time. Well, now you can! This one time only, read about the secret to living forever! Ready? Just eat less! You’re probably thinking, “Wait, what?” Not kidding, this is the Holy Grail to living forever.

Okay, so living forever isn’t exactly an option, but a new study in Science has revealed that eating less, and at the right time, can actually be good for you. This new research suggests that the body's daily rhythms play a big part in this longevity effect. The study determined that eating only during their most active time of day substantially extended the lifespan of mice on a reduced-calorie diet.

In his team's study of hundreds of mice over four years, a reduced-calorie diet alone extended the animals' lives by 10 percent. But feeding mice the diet only at nighttime, when mice are most active, extended life by 35 percent. That combo -- a reduced-calorie diet plus a nighttime eating schedule -- tacked on an extra nine months to the animals' typical two-year median lifespan. For people, an analogous plan would restrict eating to daytime hours.

The research helps disentangle the controversy around diet plans that emphasize eating only at certain times of day, says Joseph Takahashi, a molecular biologist at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and one of the co-authors of the study. Such plans may not speed weight loss in humans, as a recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine reported, but they could prompt health benefits that add up to a longer lifespan.

That’s it, folks. If you want to live longer just eat less and at certain times of day. As stated, for humans this would be restricted to daytime hours as that’s when we’re most active. Just cut out those late night snacks and you’ll be living as long as turtles!

As always, keep doing science & keep looking up!

Sources: Science

MS in Geological Sciences
Laurence Tognetti is a six-year USAF Veteran who earned both a BSc and MSc from the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University. Laurence is extremely passionate about outer space and science communication, and is the author of “Outer Solar System Moons: Your Personal 3D Journey”.
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