Mimicking calorie restriction – hefty benefits for health without tightening the belt

As far back as the 15th century, calorie restricted diets (CRD) were considered a potent weapon against the rigours of age. Luigi Cornaro, a Renaissance Venetian nobleman who found himself near death by the tender age of 35, managed to expand his lifespan to a grand 102 by limiting his diet to just 350g of food and 414ml of wine a day. Cornaro’s method and its success, detailed in his Discorsi della vita sobria, or Discourses On the Temperate Life, was not just a remarkable feat of discipline and medical knowledge — it was one of the first times that old age was seen not as the start of a gradual and inevitable decline but as a potentially worthwhile and productive stage of life.

Since then, the evidence for CRD as an effective, if not perfect, antiaging therapy has continued to pile up. A 1934 Cornell University study found rats on CRDs lived twice as long as expected while studies performed with mice in the 1980s demonstrated similar results.

There has also been significant, if less extensive, research performed on rhesus monkeys — a 25-year University of Wisconsin study that concluded in 2014 found that CRD primates were only 36.4% as likely to die from age-related causes compared to control animals, and had 56.2% the rate of death from any cause.

How do calorie restricted diets work?

Although CRDs are still of great interest to the scientific community, researchers have struggled to identify the exact mechanism through which they confer benefits to longevity. Some of the most commonly proposed theories include:


Hormesis is a term that refers to the potentially beneficial effects of low-level biological stressors such as CRD. The hormesis hypothesis makes the argument that a low caloric intake places organisms in a metabolically defensive state, allowing them to live longer and resist adversity more effectively.

Free radicals and glycation

Free radicals and glycation are two of the most prominently proposed aging mechanisms and CRDs have been shown to offer dramatic opportunities to reduce the impact of both. Normally, when the body has high amounts of available energy, mitochondria (the part of a cell that is responsible for metabolic process) are less efficient and generate significant amounts of superoxide, a potentially harmful free radical. Under a CDR, the body will have less fat and require less energy to fuel — meaning fewer free radicals are generated. The lower metabolic rate under CDRs also mean there is less glucose in the bloodstream, lowering the risk of developing ailments such as diabetes.

Reduced DNA damage

Calorie restriction and the associated lowered metabolism mean that the body’s cells produce smaller amounts of reactive oxygen species, which cause several types of DNA damage through oxidative stress. This reduction of DNA damage promotes what is essentially slower aging. This has been shown in rodent studies — those on CRDs for 24-26 months suffered only 71% of the DNA damage in the heart, brain, liver and kidneys as those on unrestricted diets.

So why aren’t we all on CRD?

Unfortunately for all their benefits to lifespan, CRDs can also have negative consequences for human health — particularly for those of us who are already relatively slim. While CRD does result in positive metabolic adaptations such as improved lipid profile and decreased body fat, blood pressure, resting heart rate and resting energy expenditure, it can also cause a raft of unpleasant side effects. These include anaemia, muscle wasting, weakness, dizziness, irritability, lethargy and a loss of bone mineral density. A low caloric intake can also be particularly harmful to people at key life stages such as children, pregnant women and the elderly.

The other major problem with CRDs is that outside of regulated clinical settings, low calorie diets often fail to provide optimal nutrition, potentially nullifying their antiaging potential.

How can we get the benefits of CRD without the danger?

Fortunately, there are ways to receive the antiaging benefits of CRD without the nasty side effects through what are known as calorie restriction mimetics (CRM). These compounds are able to chemically mimic the effects of a CRD by altering metabolic pathways to increase efficiency and lower production of damaging free radicals.

Oxaloacetate is one such CRM, modulating several age-related genes and factors in a similar way to CRD. Available now as Oxalo Pro, this supplement offers a host of powerful antiaging and lifespan extending benefits.

Can oxaloacetate help me live a healthier life?

Oxaloacetate, oxaloacetic acid or simply OAA is an organic crystalline compound used for essential metabolic processes by most life on earth including humans. It is required for the Krebs cycle, part of cellular respiration, and is critical to generating energy for life.

Its antiaging effects are the result of two equally critical mechanisms:

mTOR inhibition

mTOR is critical to controlling the signalling pathways which regulate aspects of cell survival and function such as division, stress response and protein tasks. However, aging and some diseases can disrupt mTOR function. Oxaloacetate acts as an mTOR mimetic, offering a wide array of health benefits including supporting the heart and brain and lowering the impact of some neurodegenerative disorders. It may also assist in beneficial apoptosis, or programmed cell death, that can stop the growth of some tumours.

Reduction of glycolysis

As a calorie restriction mimetic, OAA also acts upon glycolysis, the process by which glucose is processed to release energy. By making this action more efficient and improving insulin signalling pathways, OAA causes less glucose to be present in the bloodstream. This has the positive effect of cutting down on glycation, the potentially damaging process by which glucose bonds with proteins, as well as inhibiting the oxidation of fats. As a result, less free radicals are released into the bloodstream, cutting down on damage to cells and DNA — essentially letting your cells live and reproduce for longer.

Oxalo Pro — a powerful antiaging solution

Oxalo Pro is a high-quality source of OAA, formulated to deliver this critical nutritional supplement to where your body needs it most. By supporting your body’s cells and preventing damage to them, Oxalo Pro can help you live a longer, healthier life. Enjoy the benefits of a calorie restricted diet without the side effects with Oxalo Pro — one of the safest, most effective ways to stave off the passing years.