Calorie Reduction Lowers Many Health Risks
A recent study supported by the National Institutes of Health showed the effects of adults restricting their calorie intake without sacrificing essential nutrition. The study focused on people who were in normal weight ranges and people who were moderately overweight. Researchers found that restricting calorie intake reduced risk factors for several age-related illnesses. However, they said that calorie restriction did not show notable effects on some metabolic functions. Experts were encouraged by their findings and said that they wanted to learn more about the effects of calorie reduction interventions before they started making recommendations for dietary changes.
In similar studies conducted on animals, calorie restriction programs were most effective when they were implemented in young or middle-aged animals. However, the same type of study would take decades to conduct with humans. Experts were confident that similar studies could be structured in shorter terms to effectively determine risk factors, life span predictors and predictors for quality of life.
For this survey, the participants had a weight loss target of 15.5 percent, which had to be attained during the first year. Weight maintenance was the goal for the following year. Participants reduced their calorie intake by 25 percent. In the restriction group, the average person dropped their body weight by 10 percent within the first year. The average person was able to maintain a steady weight during the second year.
Although overall weight loss did not reach the target goal, this was one of the biggest sustained weight loss programs conducted among people who were not considered obese. In the control group, participants’ weight remained stable along with caloric restrictions. Experts said that they did not find the expected metabolic effects in this study. However, participants noticed an average decrease in blood pressure of about 4 percent. In addition to reporting decreases in blood pressure, survey conductors reported increased levels of HDL or good cholesterol among participants. The calorie restriction program also resulted in a decrease of the C-reactive protein, which is linked to cardiovascular disease. Insulin resistance also decreased drastically. Thyroid hormones decreased initially and then remained in a normal range. Since some studies have linked decreased thyroid activity to a longer lifespan, this finding was especially interesting to researchers.
Another interesting finding from the study was the calorie reduction program’s effects on mood. Researchers found no negative effects on general mood or mood disorders. However, some survey participants reported developing transient anemia and decreases in bone density with their weight loss. At the conclusion of their report, researchers said that they were intrigued by the findings. They felt that the study was a strong indicator of calorie reduction leading to a longer lifespan and a lowered risk of developing serious illnesses. They were interested to see if further reductions could be made for additional benefits in future studies. To learn more about this topic and preventative health insurance benefits that support it, discuss concerns with an agent.
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