ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Green Tea May Help Brain Cope With Sleep Disorders
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Yoga May Bring Calm to Breast Cancer Treatment
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Beware of Dog Bites
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
Breast-feeding Might Shield Women From Rheumatoid Arthritis
More Faces Being Spared in Motor Vehicle Accidents
Put Your Best Foot Forward Next Year
CANCER
Minorities Distrust Medical System More
No Verdict Yet on Grape Seed Extract vs. Breast Cancer
Omega-3 May Safely Treat Precancerous Bowel Polyps
CAREGIVING
3 Steps Might Help Stop MRSA's Spread
Are Hospital Mobile Phones Dialing Up Superbugs?
Many Alzheimer's Caregivers Admit to Abusive Behavior
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
COSMETIC
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
Health Tip: After Liposuction
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
Gum Disease May Reactivate AIDS Virus
Acid Drinks Blamed for Increase in Tooth Erosion
DIABETES
Red-Grape Compound May Improve Diabetes
Coffee, Tea Might Stave Off Diabetes
Laughter May Lower Heart Attack Risk in Diabetics
DIET, NUTRITION
Fasting on Alternate Days May Make Dieting Easier
Most Fast-Food French Fries Cooked in Unhealthiest Oil
Vitamin B12 Key to Aging Brain
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Heavy Traffic Can Be Heartbreaking
Lead Exposure in Childhood Linked to Criminal Behavior Later
Controversial Chemical Lingers Longer in the Body
EYE CARE, VISION
Half of U.S. Adults Lack 20/20 Vision
Kids Think Glasses Make Others Look Smart, Honest
FDA Goes After Unapproved Eye Washes, Skin Ointments
FITNESS
Weak Muscles May Cause 'Runner's Knee'
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
GENERAL HEALTH
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Parents Influence Sex Decisions, Hispanic Teens Say
More Single Women Are Having Babies
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Vitamin B3 May Help Repair Brain After a Stroke
Too-Low Blood Pressure Can Also Bring Danger
Too Much Red Meat May Shorten Life Span
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Play Creatively as a Kid, Be a Healthier Adult
Should Your Child Be Seeing a Chiropractor?
Boosting Kids' Stroke IQ May Save Lives
MEN'S HEALTH
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
MENTAL HEALTH
Psychotherapy Can Boost Happiness More Than Money
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
Optimism May Boost Immune System
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
SENIORS
Life Expectancy in U.S. Hits New High
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
Protein Deposits May Show Up Before Memory Problems Occur, Study Says
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Broccoli May Help Battle Breast Cancer
Active Young Women Need Calcium, Vitamin D
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
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Eat Light - Live Longer

THURSDAY, July 9 (HealthDay News) -- A new study that found that a lower-calorie diet slowed the aging process in monkeys could be the best proof yet that restricted diets might do the same for humans.

"The big question in aging research is, 'Will caloric restriction in species closely related to humans slow aging?'" said Richard Weindruch, senior author of a paper appearing in the July 10 issue of Science. "This is the first clear demonstration that, in a primate species, we're inducing a slowdown of the aging process -- showing increased survival, resistance to disease, less brain atrophy and less muscle loss.

"This predicts humans would respond similarly," added Weindruch, professor of medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an investigator at the Veterans Hospital in Madison.

Another expert noted that, despite some highly publicized studies in certain species, the link between restricted eating and longer lifespan has been far from proven.

"The idea that dietary restriction extends lifespan in all species is not true. Many strains of rats and mice do not respond. In some strains, it's actually deleterious," explained Felipe Sierra, director of the biology of aging program at the U.S. National Institute on Aging (NIA), which supported the new study. "The fact that it didn't work in some mice but it does seem to work in monkeys is surprising and it gives us hope."

But there's a larger question: how to change humans' increasingly lax eating habits. "This [finding] doesn't give me hope that humans are going to go into dietary restriction," Sierra said.

Another expert agreed. "I think this is wonderful and it has promising benefits but the problem is not that we don't know this stuff, the problem is doing it, is getting people to eat less," added Marianne Grant, a registered dietitian at Texas A&M Health Science Center Coastal Bend Health Education Center in Corpus Christi.

As Sierra sees it, the ultimate value of this and other research like it will be to unveil the physiological mechanisms behind a slowdown in the aging process, and then come up with ways to mimic those processes with drugs or other interventions.

Previous research had shown that calorie restriction can increase survival and stave off many diseases in yeast, worms, flies and, as Sierra pointed out, in some strains of mice.

The new, two-decade-long study ultimately involved 76 rhesus monkeys, all of whom started the study as adults (aged 7 to 14 years). Thirty-three monkeys are still alive, 13 of whom are allowed to eat as they like. The other 20 are allowed a diet with 30 percent fewer calories.

Eighty percent of the original monkeys eating fewer calories are still alive, versus half of those in the control group, the researchers reported.

Among the benefits enjoyed by the lower-calorie group: fewer cancers, less cardiovascular disease, better preserved brain health (especially in regions of the brain involved in motor control and memory) and no diabetes whatsoever, despite this being a common problem in monkeys.

Weindruch said his group is continuing to study the monkeys, a process that could go on for 15 years. Meanwhile, they are collecting a new group of monkeys to more closely study mechanistic processes.

The NIA currently supports a study looking into calorie restriction in humans although, Sierra pointed out, such a study is difficult to conduct.

"Studies in humans can be done but they're not going to address longevity and it's a self-selected group," he said. "Monkeys are the closest we can get."

The findings come a day after U.S. researchers reported in Nature that rapamycin, a drug typically given to transplant patients, significantly extended the lifespans of mice.

SOURCES: Richard Weindruch, Ph.D., professor, medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison and investigator, Veterans Hospital, Madison, Wis.; Felipe Sierra, Ph.D., director, biology of aging program, U.S. National Institute on Aging; Marianne Grant, registered dietitian, Texas A&M Health Science Center Coastal Bend Health Education Center, Corpus Christi, Texas; July 10, 2009 Science