It turns out longevity boosters like Aubrey de Grey — the scientific community's answer to Alan Moore — may be very wrong about how to live longer.
De Grey, who runs a nonprofit devoted to inventing life-extending tech, has often talked about the idea that starving yourself will lead to a longer life (though he notes that a better option is regenerative medicine with stem cells). This isn't just whackadoodle stuff. There have been a few studies suggesting that caloric restriction, or eating very little, can prolong life in yeast cells and mice. But now researchers have published the results of an over two-decade study of caloric restriction in monkeys in Nature. And it turns out that the starving monkeys didn't live any longer than the monkeys who ate until they were satisfied. In fact, the only monkeys who benefited from caloric restriction were ones who were put on a low-cal diet in old age.
As Nature's Amy Maxmen writes, "genetics and dietary composition matter more for longevity than a simple calorie count." So if you want to live forever, you don't have to be hungry anymore.