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New Doubts About Fasting Leading To Longer Lives Based On Study In Flies

(Science Daily) [T]he results so far suggest that some skepticism might be in order regarding climbing aboard the caloric-restriction bandwagon, [one of the researchers] said. "There's evidence that caloric restriction seems to rev up various individual components of the immune system," he said, "but in the few studies where diet-restricted animals actually have been infected experimentally, they fared poorly."

In their study's conclusions, the authors write, "The work reported here should raise a cautionary flag, as it demonstrates that diet restriction can have complex effects on the realized immune response of a diet-restricted animal." Attempts to extend life span through dietary restriction, or mimicking this process by gulping a pill, could thus be counterproductive, as the value of diminished appetite to an animal's survival may vary with the infecting microbe.

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