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Study Finds Caloric Restriction May Slow Aging, Reduce Mortality Risk by 10-15%

A new study has found that reducing caloric intake may slow the pace of aging according to some biomarkers. The trial involved 220 healthy, non-obese men and women from three sites across the United States, and those who followed a 25-percent calorie-restricted diet for two years saw a slowing down of biological ageing.[0]

The research team conducted an analysis of methylation marks on DNA, which are modifications that are known to alter with age, taken from white blood cells. They focused on three measurements of the DNA methylation data, sometimes known as “epigenetic clocks”. The initial two clocks, PhenoAge and GrimAge, are used to calculate biological age, which is the age at which a person's physiology is expected to be “normal.”.[1] This gives a fixed indication of the amount of aging a person has gone through.[2] DunedinPACE was the third measure studied and it works much like a “speedometer” to estimate the speed of aging, or the rate at which biological deterioration occurs over time.[2]

The goal of reducing caloric intake by 25 percent was not met by all participants during the experiment. The majority of individuals participating in the CALERIE study were unable to reach the targeted 25% reduction in caloric intake. Although there was not complete adherence, the participants in the therapy group still had significant weight loss and changes in body composition, as well as improved cardiovascular health and a slowing down of age-related changes in the body.[3]

Previous research cited by the authors claims that a 2–3% decrease in rate is associated with a 10–15% decrease in mortality risk.[4] This is equivalent to a decrease in mortality risk of 10-15%, the same reduction that is seen in those who quit smoking.[5]

The study was carefully designed to lower energy intake without depriving participants of essential nutrients. In other words, they were advised on how to safely cut calories without losing out on the recommended nutrients.

These findings are important as they prove that slowing human aging may be possible. Follow-up assessments of the study participants are now ongoing to determine if the intervention had long-term effects on healthy aging.[6] Intermittent fasting or time-restricted eating may induce similar benefits, and the researchers are now looking at other dietary interventions that could “appeal to more people”.[7]

0. “Cutting Calories May Reverse Aging and Boost Longevity, Says Study” Longevity LIVE, 15 Feb. 2023,

1. “Calorie Restriction Slows Aging in Human Trial” Technology Networks, 13 Feb. 2023,

2. “Calorie restriction makes it possible to slow down aging”, 9 Feb. 2023,

3. “Long-term caloric restriction has a small effect on the DNA methylation measure of the pace of aging” News-Medical.Net, 13 Feb. 2023,

4. “Can calorie restriction slow the pace of aging in healthy adults?” Medical News Today, 14 Feb. 2023,

5. “Restricting your calorie intake could slow down ageing – as beneficial as quitting smoking” Express, 10 Feb. 2023,

6. “Reduced calorie intake slows ageing process, research shows”, 12 Feb. 2023,

7. “Calorie Restriction Could Help You Live Longer” Everyday Health, 9 Feb. 2023,

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