Restricting food intake has been shown to extend lifespan and improve health in various species. Here, the results of a 23-year study of caloric restriction in rhesus macaque monkeys are reported. When started at older ages, restricting caloric intake did not increase survival, but improved the metabolic profile of the monkeys. Young monkeys on a calorie-restricted diet showed a trend towards a delay in age-associated disease onset, but they, too, showed no increase in lifespan. Given that lifespan studies in humans are impractical, work with non-human primates is as near as we can get, and these results suggest that the effects of caloric restriction in long-lived animals are far from straightforward.
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