How the balance of LCIs affects life expectancy

Experiments in animals have shown that energy intake and macronutrient balance (FMB) determine longevity and age-related mortality (ARM) patterns.

Similar effects have also been found in epidemiological studies in humans. Using global supply data and 1,879 survival tables from 103 countries, the authors of a review published in the journal PNAS tested these effects at the macro level, estimating the relationship between macronutrient intake in different countries and their age-related mortality.

The relationship between macronutrient intake in different countries and their age-related mortality


The authors found that macronutrient supply is a strong determinant of mortality patterns, even after adjusting for temporal and economic factors. Globally, signs of malnutrition logically manifest themselves as low life expectancy and high mortality across age groups. However, the consequences of overnutrition become apparent in rich countries, where high consumption of fats and carbohydrates leads to high mortality rates.

Interestingly, a total caloric intake of about 3,500 kcal/person/day minimised age-related mortality.

The authors found that the composition of macronutrients (FU) as an energy source that minimises mortality changes with age. Early in life, 40-45% of energy comes equally from fat and carbohydrate, with the remaining 16% from protein, to minimize premature mortality. Later in life, replacing fat with carbohydrate, up to about 65% of total calories, and reducing protein to 11% has been associated with the lowest mortality rate.

These results, particularly for fat, are consistent with both experimental evidence from animals and with epidemiological studies within countries on the association between macronutrient intake and the risk of age-related chronic disease.

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