All living beings are made up of cells. The adult human body is made up of about 60-90 trillion cells! Our bodies take food, digest it, capture its nutrients, and transport these nutrients to our cells. What we eat becomes the cell structure of our bodies, and the cell structure determines our physical—healthy and unhealthy—nature. If we eat unhealthy foods, we generate unhealthy and toxic cells, which means that our bodies become unhealthy and toxic.
Mitochondria, tiny structures inside our cells, are the powerhouse of our cells. Mitochondria are the biological engines that convert carbohydrates, proteins and fats into the energy consumed by the entire body. Efficient mitochondria provide the energy for our cells and keep our cells healthy. Healthy cells are the key to a whole range of benefits for our brain and body, including increased energy levels. In other words, more healthy mitochondria, more youth you can maintain.
Unfortunately, as we age, our cells die because our mitochondria fail to produce adequate energy molecules. Aging mitochondria are not only less efficient at converting fuel to energy, they can actually produce harmful oxidants. A major factor in the age-related decline of bodily functions is the accumulation of “oxidative damage” in the body’s proteins, fats, and DNA. Oxidants—in particular, chemicals called “free radicals”—are produced when food is converted to energy by mitochondria.
This is why we get less energetic and loses vitality as we age. So, it is a key to have and maintain good amount of healthy mitochondria in your cells for slowing down the aging process.
Dr. Richard Weindruch and Dr. Tomas A. Prolla, professors at the University of Wisconsin have been studying the aging process for more than 30 years and claim that caloric restriction has a definite positive impact on the aging process. They have been doing long-term observations of rhesus monkeys on caloric restriction, The monkeys that were allowed to eat a nutritious, healthy calorie diet aged visibly while the restriced calorie diet monkeys had shinier coats, brighter eyes and more vigor. After clinical evaluation, their organs were considerably “younger” than the control group. How caloric restriction slows aging is that it lowers free-radical production by inducing the formation of efficient mitochondria.
Their findings were so groundbreaking that they are published in the most prestigious scientific journals in the world, such as Science and Nature. Also this study was aired on CNN.
The major health benefits of caloric restrictions are disappearing triglycerides, healthy cholesterol levels, the elimination of low-level inflammation through the body caused by oxidation damage, lowered and more stable blood sugar, nonexistent cardiovascular disease and even instances of being cured of early stage diabetes.
So, overeating is not just making you fat, its also increasing your chances of developing a degenerative disease and it ages you faster. The researchers suggest that you need to cut down 30% – 40% less your intake of calories over your lifespan; it is macronutrient restriction without micronutrient restriction. So eating fat-free food, or iceberg lettuce isn’t what we call healthy calorie restriction. You need to eat well balanced meals but less. To date, caloric restriction is the only intervention consistently demonstrated in laboratory animals to increase both average and maximal lifespan.
Dr. Prolla says that eating food high in polyphenol and resveratrol such as red grapes, high in epigallocatechin such as green tea, high in quercetin such as onion, pomegranate, and cordyceps can provide similar effect to caloric restriction. He added “ I recommend that people should do caloric restriction diet as much as possible and add scientifically proven nutritional supplements”.
The Aging Myth by Joseph Change, Phd
“Limited Calorie Diets Decrease Muscle Damage” by Anthony E. Civitarese, Stacy Carling, Leonie K. Heilbronn, Mathew H. Hulver, Barbara Ukropcova, Walter A. Deutsch, Steven R. Smith, Eric Ravussin for the CALERIE Pennington Team
Healthy Mitochondria and Healthy Aging by Dr. Highau Tsang