There is a large body of evidence that having a severely caloric restricted diet can result in a longer life span while maintaining a youthful appearance.
Now new research from the University of Buffalo has found that this sort of diet can also help maintain physical fitness into advanced age, slowing the progression of physical disability.
The study found that rats who were fed a severely low caloric diet were able to keep lean muscle mass while those rats who were fed a normal diet actually lost lean muscle mass and gained more fat. The low calorie rats also had higher physical performance scores.
Unfortunately translating the diet from rats to humans would be very difficult. The rats in the study were living on a 40 precent reduced calorie diet. This would be practically impossible for a human. However, according to Tongjian You, the principal investigator on the study, an 8-percent reduced calorie diet could be both doable and beneficial for humans.
For more information, see the official news release, here.