Can intermittent fasting or calorie restriction slow the aging process?

UAB Nutrition researchers are investigating whether calorie restriction or intermittent fasting can slow the aging process.

Shot of a happy older couple enjoying a healthy lunch together outdoorsResearchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham are recruiting participants for a new study that investigates whether intermittent fasting or calorie restriction, i.e., losing weight, can slow the aging process and make people younger.

Courtney Peterson, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Nutrition Sciences and site lead investigator, says this is the largest study on record investigating the effects of intermittent fasting on aging.

“With this study, we want to accomplish several goals — find out how easy it is to stick to these two diets long term, how much we can slow aging and improve overall health, and finally whether we can on a molecular level, such as regenerate stem cells, which would be very exciting,” Peterson said.

Along with the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, UAB is recruiting 50 participants for the six-month study. Participants are randomly assigned either a calorie restrictive diet, intermittent fasting or to continue their usual diet. Those who are selected for calorie restriction will lose weight by eating less, while those who fast intermittently will fast for 16 hours per day and eat dinner by 6 p.m. about six days per week, with one break day per week. The study provides intensive coaching and support to help participants successfully lose weight or practice intermittent fasting.

Eligible participants should be ages 25-45, take no medications, be healthy, and have a BMI between 22 and 30 kg/m2. Those selected for the study are eligible for a $1,500 stipend.

To learn more or apply to participate, call 205-934-1457 or visit\dialhealthuab.