'Eat, drink and be merry' drug

IT IS the wrong time of year to be told that eating less is good for you, but evidence has for a long time suggested that cutting down on calories extends life.

Now Italian researchers have identified a molecule produced when people diet that could lead to the development of a drug that mimics the effect of restraint, offering a longer life without the need for self-denial.

Experiments have shown that curbing the amount of food rats eat can extend their lives by 25 to 40 per cent. But the benefits are lost when the rats return to a normal diet.

Among humans, the Okinawan islands in Japan's extreme southwest are home to more than twice the national average of centenarians.

As well as having a healthy diet, they have a cultural habit of calorie control, called hara hachi bu - or "eat until you are 80 per cent full".

 

Read more at NZ Herald


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