Benefits of Caloric Restriction
Oxidation – the buildup of too many free radicals in cells – may explain the benefits of caloric restriction. Experts believe that mitochondria are the major source of free radicals. Mitochondria are tiny “factories” inside cells that make adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a chemical that powers a wide range of cellular activities.
It’s not clear why reducing caloric intake should reduce the amount of free radicals produced in cells, but it is suspected that free radicals are part of the more general story of aging.
Aging is a reduction in the amount of order in living systems, which require a high degree of order. More energy, in the form of more calories, creates more disorder (which scientists call entropy). It is believed that caloric restriction slows the energy flow through our body so we “disorder” (i.e. age) at a slower rate.
In other words, fewer calories leads to fewer free radicals, which means you age less quickly.