A landmark study of rhesus monkeys suggests one way to live to a ripe old age in good health: Eat less. A lot less. Monkeys on a strict diet over the past 20 years—as in, a whopping 30% fewer calories than normal—have proven to be a healthier bunch than a control group, with fewer cases of cancer, diabetes, and heart and brain disease, reports the New York Times.
“These data demonstrate that caloric restriction slows aging in a primate species,” say the researchers in Science. Some diehard humans already embrace the practice, but the idea of near-starvation limits its appeal. The findings are expected to boost the study of drugs such as resveratrol, found in red wine, that can mimic the benefits of a very-low-cal diet without all the hunger pangs.