Calorie restriction has a large beneficial effect on health and longevity in mice, and as a result any number of studies carried out over the past century were ruined – usually without the researchers noticing – because no attempt was made to control for calorie intake and weight. Any treatment that causes nausea in mice, and thus a lower calorie intake, may have mistakenly reported benefits. Any treatment that resulted in mice eating more may have mistakenly missed benefits or reported harms.
The same general principle applies for people running their own self-experiments of treatments that might slow or turn back aging to some degree – something that will become ever more common as the world wakes up to the potential of low-cost senolytic treatments that can remove senescent cells, one of the root causes of aging. As the article here makes clear, all it takes is a short period of changed calorie intake and weight to throw off most of the indirect metrics one might use to assess the results of an early, comparatively crude senolytic treatment. For individuals in the earlier stages of aging, benefits are likely to be subtle and more easily obscured. It is something to
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