Is Caloric Restriction Associated with Better Healthy Aging Outcomes? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

Background: Global dietary patterns have gradually shifted toward a ‘western type’ with progressive increases in rates of metabolic imbalance. Recently, animal and human studies have revealed positive effects of caloric restriction (CR) on many health domains, giving new knowledge for prevention of ill and health promotion.

Methods: We conducted a systematic review (SR) of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) investigating the role of CR on health status in adults. A meta-analysis was performed on anthropometric, cardiovascular and metabolic outcomes.

Results: A total of 29 articles were retrieved including data from eight RCTs. All included RCTs were at low risk for performance bias related to objective outcomes. Collectively, articles included 704 subjects. Among the 334 subjects subjected to CR, the compliance with the intervention appeared generally high. Meta-analyses proved benefit of CR on reduction of body weight, BMI, fat mass, total cholesterol, while a minor impact was shown for LDL, fasting glucose and insulin levels. No effect emerged for HDL and blood pressure after CR. Data were insufficient for other hormone variables in relation to meta-analysis of CR effects.

Conclusion: CR is a nutritional pattern linked to improved cardiometabolic status. However, evidence is limited on the multidimensional aspects of health and requires more studies of high quality to identify the precise impact of CR on health status and longevity.

Reference:

Caristia S, De Vito M, Sarro A, Leone A, Pecere A, Zibetti A, Filigheddu N, Zeppegno P, Prodam F, Faggiano F, Marzullo P. Is Caloric Restriction Associated with Better Healthy Aging Outcomes? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Nutrients 2020; 12(8): 2290.


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