CALERIE was a study designed to determine the biological effects of two years of prolonged caloric restriction in humans. In a paper recently published in Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology by William Kraus and colleagues,the authors found that metabolic health was greatly improved over the course of the study.
Some of the benefits in the calorie restricted group stemmed from the fact that they lost a large amount of weight, on average about 16 pounds over the two years of the study. But the extent to which their metabolic health got better was greater than would have been expected from weight loss alone, suggesting that caloric restriction might have some unique biological effects on disease pathways in the body, said William Kraus.“We weren’t surprised that there were changes,” he said. “But the magnitude was rather astounding. In a disease population, there aren’t five drugs in combination that would cause this aggregate of an improvement.”
This groundbreaking study shows that a modest change to diet - a simple 300 calories a day - can reduce the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.