Results from a large multicenter study led by researchers from Tufts University suggest that reducing caloric intake while maintaining adequate levels of protein, vitamin, and mineral consumption can significantly reduce markers of chronic inflammation without adverse effects on other parts of the immune system such as antibody production in response to vaccines. First and corresponding author Simin Nikbin Meydani, DVM, PhD, director of the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts (HNRCA) and the director of its Nutritional Immunology Laboratory, said, “This is the first study to examine these effects over 2 years on healthy, normal weight, or slightly overweight individuals and observe that caloric restriction reduces inflammation without compromising other key functions of the immune system.” The findings were published online earlier this month in the journal Aging.
Chronic inflammation creates a variety of destructive reactions that damage cells, contribute to the development of age-related diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and dementia, and are associated with chronic pain. In the current study, 220 individuals were randomized into 2 groups and further segmented by site, sex, and body mass index. The control group sustained their regular diet, while the test group was instructed in a diet that reduced calorie consumption by 25%. They also received supplementary multivitamins and minerals. Inflammation and immunity biomarkers were assessed at baseline, 1-year, and 2-year intervals. At the end of 24 months, the test group exhibited a significant reduction in inflammatory biomarkers, with no difference in immune responses, compared to the controls.
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A news story about the study findings may be read here.
The journal abstract may be read here.