by Ron Brown, author of The Body Fat Guide
"Ron Brown is a certified fitness trainer who doesn't have an inch of flab on his body. He'll tell you what you can do to become fit and trim too."
TALK TO AMERICA, Washington DC
SCIENTISTS HAVE KNOWN
for years that animals live longer when they lose weight on reduced-calorie
diets or when fasted. However, the biological and physiological mechanisms by
which this increase in longevity occurs is still not clear. Two factors usually
associated with longevity in these animals are calorie restriction and leanness.
After all, one does not usually lose weight without some sort of calorie-intake
restriction, and one usually becomes leaner as a result of weight loss. However,
which, if any, of these two factors directly causes longevity?
Some proponents of calorie restriction argue that restricting calorie intake alone is responsible for longevity, regardless of any accompanying weight loss. However, Harvard University scientists have shown that animals who manage to stay lean regardless of their calorie intake also increase their longevity.
A hint that neither leanness or calorie restriction by themselves is the direct cause of increased longevity is supplied in the early research of Dr. Alex Carrel. A Nobel Prize winner in medicine during the first half of the twentieth century, Dr. Carrel demonstrated his method for increasing longevity in living animal cells cultivated in a laboratory dish.
Dr. Carrel showed that the fluid in which the cells floated gradually accumulated the normal toxic end-products of metabolism, cellular waste products, excreted by the cells. Periodically replacing this fluid with fresh clean fluid while providing the cells with adequate nutrients, Dr. Carrel created an environment for the cells that extended their life. Some genetic researchers point out that even a healthy cell will eventually wear out and die, but nevertheless, Carrel's research demonstrates an important principle of longevity that we can apply to our lives.
Alex Carrel's laboratory experiment is strikingly similar to the internal environment of our bodies. Just as Dr. Carrel regulated the balance between the cells' nutrient intake and the removal of excreted cellular waste, our bodies are equipped to normally function likewise. However, when the regular removal of excreted cellular waste in the laboratory cells becomes backed up, the cells are damaged due to auto-intoxication from the retained waste. Is it not possible that something similar occurs in our bodies when removal of the normal end-products of metabolism is held up and toxins begin to accumulate within the intracellular fluid within the cells, as well as within the extracellular fluid that surrounds the cells?
What would cause such a backup of toxic cellular waste in our bodies? One answer could be a lifestyle that reduces our normal excretory function, especially a lifestyle replete with overeating.
his research on fasting, Dr. Anton J. Carlson, a physiologist at
In addition to overeating, overstressing the body beyond full recuperation redirects energy away from our normal excretory function, thereby causing excretion to lag which results in an accumulation of toxic end-products of metabolism.
It should be pointed out that the colon, although an organ of the excretory system, never comes in direct contact with the intracellular and extracellular fluid where cellular excretion occurs. The colon's role includes receiving and voiding cellular waste already processed and eliminated through the other excretory organs, such as the kidneys and liver. Therefore, an effort to stimulate removal of waste at the cellular level through colonic treatments is pointless.
In conclusion, it seems that calorie restriction and leanness,
although associated with longevity, do not directly cause it. Rather, calorie
restriction and leanness facilitate the removal of toxic accumulations of
cellular waste which increases cellular longevity. Regardless of the exact cellular mechanism by which it works,
one thing for sure is that weight loss, either through fasting or
calorie-restricted diets, increases longevity. Longevity is thus another benefit
added to the list of health and wellness benefits offered in a sound weight
management program, like The Body Fat Guide.