“To lengthen thy life, lessen thy meals.” -Benjamin Franklin

Research on calorie restriction really finds its beginning in the 1930s.

The research took off after Clive McCoy, a nutritionist at Cornell University, discovered that “rats subjected to stringent daily dieting from an early age lived longer and were less likely to develop cancer and other diseases as they aged.”

“Research on calorie restriction and periodic fasting intersected in 1945 when University of Chicago scientists reported that alternate-day feeding extended the life span of rats as much as daily dieting in McCoy’s earlier experiments. ‘Seems to delay the development of the disorders that lead to death,’ the Chicago researchers wrote.”

Research has suggested that by reducing the typical calorie consumption by 30 to 40 percent, life span is extended by a third or more in animals. The animals included in this research were nematodes, fruit flies and rodents.

Other tests have been done in which one group of rats were subjected to strictly eating the same foods every day and the other group was put on an intermittent fasting regimen. An increased life span of approximately twenty percent in males and fifteen percent in females was experienced in the group that practiced intermittent fasting compared to the group doing the controlled diet.

Many other studies have suggested that intermittent fasting (or fasting) extends the life span of animals, specifically rodents. Unfortunately, there is only a very small amount of studies that have been done on humans concerning this subject of fasting. However, time and truth go hand in hand, and time will truly have to show us if intermittent fasting does indeed extend the human life span.



  1. Stipp, David. “How Intermittent Fasting Might Help You Live a Longer and Healthier Life.” Scientific American, 1 Jan. 2013, www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-intermittent-fasting-might-help-you-live-longer-healthier-life/
  2. Fredricks, Randi. Fasting: an exceptional human experience. AuthorHouse, 2013. Print.