Duke: 2 Years of Calorie Restriction and Cardiometabolic Risk (CALERIE) Trial


A recent Duke University-led study shows that calorie restriction over an extended period of time could be an effective method to improve cardiovascular health. A recent clinical trial examining caloric interest and restriction in patients over a 2 year period found that patients managed to sustain a 10% drop in weight as well as see improvements in markers linked to metabolic disease and heart disease.

The Study

The 2 years of calorie restriction and cardio metabolic risk (CALERIE) trial was a multi-center, randomized controlled trial that involved 238 participants between the ages of 21 and 50 years old. Between 2008 and 2010, 2018 of the 238 were randomly assigned in a 2:1 ration to a 25% calorie restriction diet (143, 66%) or an ad libitum control diet (75, 34%).

Lead Investigator Statement

William Kraus, MD, a cardiologist and distinguished professor of medicine at Duke noted “This shows that even a modification that is not as severe as what we used in this study could reduce the burden of diabetes and cardiovascular disease that we have in this country.” He continued “People can do this fairly easily by simply watching their little indiscretions here and there, or maybe reducing the amount of them, like not snacking after dinner.

A Groundbreaking Study

Frank Hu, MD, PhD of the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health called the trial “groundbreaking.” He noted “The CALERIE trial is groundbreaking in several respects. It is the first long-term calorie restriction intervention in non-obese young and middle-aged participants with a large sample size.” Hu continued “The trial collected detailed time-course data for biomarkers of ageing and cardiometabolic risk factors. The calorie restriction intervention was previously shown to be safe without adverse effects on quality of life.”

The study was published in The Lancet.

Lead Research/Investigator

William Kraus, MD, a cardiologist and distinguished professor of medicine at Duke