Aubrey de Grey and Calorie Restriction

It's no great secret in the healthy life extension community that biomedical gerontologist Aubrey de Grey - the driving force behind the Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence and half the driving force behind the Mprize for longevity research - doesn't think that calorie restriction (CR) is a practical strategy for extending life span to any significant degree in humans. Which isn't to say that he thinks calorie restriction is no good - it's quite clear from ongoing studies that the health benefits are very impressive. April Smith's recent post on the subject is worth reading. Aubrey comments:

For the avoidance of doubt: though I think that CR will probably give humans only 2-3 years of extra lifespan at most, I certainly don't disapprove of it -- the health benefits are clear, as shown in the Holloszy and Fontana work, and even 2-3 years may make a big difference to quite a lot of people. So I approve of CR.

Discussions on the efficacy of CR in extending human life span are a touchy subject in some quarters - but science is science and will keep moving forward towards a definitive answer to match what we know about CR and life span in smaller mammals. You can find Aubrey de Grey's paper explaining his view on CR at his website. As April tell us, Michael Rae - noted CR practioner and also Aubrey's research assistant these days - has penned a rebuttal to that paper that awaits publication:

MR wrote a rebuttal to Aubrey's article about weather and CR that was accepted by Gerontology, but he had to withdraw it due to page charges. Now he's resubmitted it to another journal and is waiting for approval.

I'm looking forward to seeing it; Michael writes a good paper when he sets his mind to it. You can see some of his work at the Longevity Meme and here at Fight Aging!