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The dream of staying youthful is as old as mankind, yet few progresses have been made in gerontology, the science of aging. Yet since the 1930s a dietary intervention has been increasing the lifespan of several lab species.
Learn what calorie restriction with optimal nutrition (CRON) is, why it may prolong your healthspan and lifespan and master the basics to practice it in a safe and rational manner.
At the end of this online course, you will:
Anyone can skip calories today. Learn how to do it safely to increase your healthspan first and lifespan second. Recognize the main classes of Calorie Restriction Mimetics, approaches and drugs that mimic calorie restriction without limiting food intake.
This online course contains video lectures, quizzes and a bibliography for delving into the scientific studies done on calorie restriction with optimal nutrition.
I designed this course to be easily understood by absolute beginners with no background in nutrition or medicine in general. Of course, if you have such a background, you will enjoy it even more.
You will receive a certificate of completion upon finishing the course.
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|Section 1: Introduction to Calorie Restriction with Optimal Nutrition|
Let's focus now on the basic principles of calorie restriction with optimal nutrition.
I want to make these clear because skipping calories takes free will, but adding nutrients takes skills.
You could eat double the necessary calories each day and still get malnourished if you're not careful enough. The odds of this happening while on calorie restriction is higher, so don't skip this lecture!
|Calorie restriction as a method to retard aging was first mentioned as early as 1935 when Clive M. McCay and his colleagues from the Cornell University noticed that a reduction of 30-50% of calories in rats led to a proportional increase in average and maximum lifespan of about 33%. Since then, the effect of extending lifespan and healthspan from calorie restriction has been replicated in many different species from flies, worms, dogs, to primates. The principle is simple in theory: restrict your calories, get all the necessary nutrients, and you may prolong your natural lifespan. Could this work in humans too? Let's find out!|
Eating Less The Safe Way Quiz
|Section 2: When Is Calorie Restriction a Bad Idea and When It's a Good One|
The human body needs normal and even higher amounts of calories during physiological states as well as certain diseases or pathological states. You shouldn't attempt calorie restriction - even with optimal nutrition - if you are in one of these cases.
You Shouldn't Attempt Calorie Restriction If Quiz
Restricting calories may be just what you need if you suffer from the so-called diseases of affluence and I would like to start with a syndrome that precedes most of them: the metabolic syndrome.
As you can guess by its name, the metabolic syndrome affects the way energy is stored and used inside the body. It is often called the insulin resistance syndrome, because the body doesn't respond to insulin like it used to. Insulin is the hormone that carries surplus blood sugar to the starved cells. Now imagine what it feels like when those cells don't respond to insulin as efficiently as beforehand. No wonder it increases the risk of developing diabetes and heart disease.
Restricting Calories May Be Just What You Need If Quiz
|Section 3: How to Monitor Yourself Before and After CRON|
Let's see now what are the effects you can reasonably expect from about 6 months to 1 year of calorie restriction with optimal nutrition and I underline here the optimal nutrition part to set it apart from malnutrition.
All the information I'm presenting here comes from both my own experience and more importantly, from the few human volunteer experiments regarding calorie restriction with optimal nutrition.
When famine strikes around the globe many people restrict their calories without fancy medical tests. But when food is plenty and you want to volunteer restricting your calories, you have some expectations. The first one is that you don't want to get sick from it, so you shouldn't skip the annual medical check. Secondly, you expect some physiological changes that were noticed on animals and human volunteers – things we already discussed in the previous lesson.
For these two reasons, here are the medical tests that I recommend before and after 6 months to 1 year on this lifestyle.
Medical Tests Quiz
|Section 4: All About Calorie Restriction Mimetics|
It's human nature to search for shortcuts. The first experiments on mice showing that eating less increases lifespan took place in the '30s but people weren't keen on dieting then and neither are they today.
So the pharma industry saw an opportunity not only in weight loss drugs, diabetes drugs, but also in drugs that mimic the effects of calorie restriction, also known as CR mimetics. Let's see what they're all about.
In order to count as a CR mimetic, the approach has to increase the average AND the maximum lifespan of a population, it has to lower both the incidence as well as the severity of diseases common in old age – in other words, it has to increase the healthspan of people. It has to maintain the physiological reserves as much as possible and of course, unlike true CR, restricting food intake should NOT take place to obtain all these effects. Pay attention to the following approaches mimicking CR.
|Section 5: Conclusion|
All good things come to an end and the Eat Less, Live Longer: Beginner Level course is no exception!
Hey, thank you for stopping by,
I am a physician specializing in what some view the saddest part of medicine, while I see it as the one with most potential. I care for elderly people and I study aging (in other words, I specialize in geriatrics and gerontology).
Aging is a natural disease which will affect us all if we'll survive long enough, which gets easier and easier these days. At the same time, science and public health are making huge leaps in prolonging our lifespans, as long as we pay attention to these news and actually apply the information in our lives.
I often publish practical life extension and gerontology articles on my blog Longevity Letter, so when I found out about Udemy, I created an account here to reach you, my fellow reader, with easy to comprehend and practical courses.
Check out my books "Eat Less, Live Longer: Your Practical Guide to Calorie Restriction with Optimal Nutrition" and "The Aging Gap Between Species" on Amazon, Apple, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords and many other places!
If you didn't find what you were looking for or if you have any suggestions, don't hesitate to contact me at longevityletter at gmail dot com.