Young at Heart: Results of the CALERIE Trial

By: Amanda Belo

One could argue that aging well is something that everyone wants. While no one has cracked the code to living forever, a recent study – the CALERIE Trial – found that cutting caloric intake might give some surprising benefits! Maybe there’s a way to truly be young at heart after all!

The recent study suggests that cutting caloric intake by 15% over two years may result in slowed aging, boosted metabolism, protection against some age-related diseases and decreased oxidative stress.1,2 The study is the second phase of the CALERIE (Comprehensive Assessment of Long-term Effects of Reducing Intake of Energy) clinical trial. It is the first of its kind to focus on the effects of sustained calorie restriction in humans.3 Phase 1 studied the metabolic effects of calorie restriction in non-obese humans at differing caloric restrictions (20% – 30%), differing BMIs (25 – 30) and different age groups for six months to one year.3

The Participants

  • 53 healthy, non-obese men and women ages 21 to 50 were placed into two randomized groups
  • 34 of the participants reduced their caloric intake
  • 19 of the participants acted as the control group and did not change their diet

Major Findings

  • Calorie restriction extends maximum lifespan in most species
  • Young, healthy individuals achieved 15% calorie restriction and 8 kg weight loss over two (2) years
  • Energy expenditure was reduced
  • Oxidative stress was reduced

During Phase 2, participants sustained 10% weight loss over two years.

Past studies that state that a slower metabolism may lead to healthy aging. This idea is what the CALERIE study has awakened, according to lead author, Dr. Leanne M. Redman.

“The CALERIE trial rejuvenates support for two of the longest-standing theories of human aging: the slow metabolism ‘rate of living’ theory and the oxidative damage theory.”2

In the March 2018 Cell Metabolism journal article, it is stated that future research on caloric restriction for healthy aging would factor in

  1.  The diet quality of individuals who have aged long and well
  2.  The combination of caloric restriction and caloric restriction imitation substances and compounds (e.g. resveratrol, antioxidants).



What do you think about the recent findings of the CALERIE Trial?
Tell us in the comments below!