Eating Fewer Calories May Help Monkeys Live Longer
Jeff Miller, University Communications, UW-Madison
Rhesus monkeys 27-year-old Canto, on a restricted diet (left), and 29-year-old Owen, a control subject on an unrestricted diet (right), were photographed at the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center.
Ever since 1890, when the use of anesthetics and antiseptics made it unlikely for people to die getting a nose job, cosmetic plastic surgery has been part of the global culture. By the 1920s, plastic surgery grew ever more common, and became associated with vanity. New techniques developed during World War II helped further increase demand for -- and types of -- the elective surgeries.
The era of minimally-invasive techniques has marked a new generation of plastic surgery options, with 14.6 million cosmetic procedures performed in the United States in 2012, up 5 percent since 2011. Here are the current most popular cosmetic surgeries, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Initially, cosmetic plastic surgery was not seen as a vanity procedure, said Emory University professor Sander Gilman, author of Making the Body Beautiful: A Cultural History of Aesthetic Surgery.
"Jews in Germany had their noses reduced so they could get jobs," Gilman said. As such, it was equally common for men and women to undergo plastic surgery.
"By the end of the 19th century there's a common understanding in the West that you can transform yourself, you can move classes -- and you can get a new nose," Gilman said.
Ear pinbacks were also popular at the time, to correct "prominent ears."
By the 1920s, the world of cosmetic surgery had shifted. By then, the first textbook about facial cosmetic surgery was in circulation, called "The Correction of Featural Imperfections" by Charles Miller. Women sought face lifts for reasons associated with vanity, not employment.
"It becomes something we associate with the upper middle class," Gilman said.
Everything from ivory to rubber has been used to augment breasts since the beginning of the 20th century. Nothing worked well (one of the first experimental substances, paraffin, had particularly bad results, with breasts that grew hard and lumpy and high rates of infection) until the Dow Corning Corporation developed the first silicone breast implants in 1961. Even though breast augmentation dropped 7 percent from 2011, it's still the No. 1. plastic surgery in the U.S., with 286,000 procedures in the U.S. in 2012. (It's followed by nose reshaping, eyelid surgery, liposuction, and facelifts.)
"People who have had significant weight loss are coming to grips with dealing with [their bodies]," said surgeon David Reath, a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. "Whether they've lost weight through weight reduction surgery or diet and exercise, if they were overweight for a long period, the
skin hangs around, and it’s very demoralizing. They're looking for a solution."
One solution appears to be a procedure called an upper arm lift, which involves either liposuction or brachioplasty, a surgery that removes loose skin is removed from the back of the arms.
Plus, "anytime we start talking about arms the image of the buff First Lady comes into mind," Reath said.
"This is up in every age group of men," Reath said. "I think it's because there’s a growing awareness that there is a solution to something that's extra troubling to men of all ages. It can have a tremendous psychological effect on young men going through puberty."
In fact, the number of men having cosmetic procedures in general has increased so dramatically that Gilman thinks it will once again even out to match the rate of women who undergo plastic surgery.
New minimally invasive and cheaper procedures such as Botox and other injectable fillers took off when the economy took a downturn, Reath said.
"You could take less time off from work [to recover]; year after year it has continued to grow," he said.
In fact, the popularity of such procedures is growing so fast that Gilman believes there will come a point in the next 10 years or so where people will wonder why you didn't have a cosmetic procedure if you have sagging skin under your jaw or lines around your eyes.
"It's becoming the standard," he said.
Eating a calorie-restricted diet may increase longevity and improve health in rhesus monkeys, a new study suggests.
The average life span of the animals in captivity is about 26 years, but more than half of the monkeys in the study on calorie-restricted diets lived to at least age 30. The study also found that the animals not on calorie-restricted diets had nearly triple the risk of age-related disease, compared with those in the calorie-restricted group.
The results suggests that calorie restriction could improve longevity and health in other primates, including humans, the researchers said.
"This study is important because it shows that the beneficial effects we have seen consistently in lower organisms also occur in primates, and therefore supports the belief that caloric restriction would have beneficial effects in humans," author Ricki Colman, a senior scientist at Wisconsin National Primate Research Center, told Live Science.
In the study, the researchers followed 76 rhesus monkeys. Half the monkeys started eating a diet that was reduced in calories by 30 percent when they were between 7 and 14 years old. The other half did not follow any calorie restrictions. [Gallery: Monkey Mug Shots]
The finding that the monkeys "on a diet" lived longer and were less prone to disease seems to contradict the results of a 2012 study of 120 monkeys, some of which were also calorie-restricted. That study did not find any differences in the survival of monkeys who ate restricted diets and those that didn't, according to the researchers at the National Institute of Aging.
There are several factors that can explain the discrepancy between the two studies, Colman said, such as differences in the diet composition, how the animals were fed, where they were from and at what age they entered the study.
Another reason the earlier study did not find a difference may have been because the control animals (those that were supposed to eat a regular, non-calorie-restricted diet) were actually mildly calorie- restricted, based on their body weights, Colman said.
Moreover, five of the monkeys in the 2012 study, one of which was officially calorie-restricted, lived for more than 40 years, an age that was "previously thought to be the maximum life span in this species of monkey," she said.
Therefore, the results of the two studies may actually complement, not contradict each other, and show that caloric restriction is beneficial, Coleman said.
Previous studies have shown the positive effect of a calorie-restricted diet on the longevity of flies, yeast and rodents. Whether primates, including humans, may also benefit has remained unclear, but the new study suggests humans may also benefit from calorie restriction, the researchers said.
"We study caloric restriction because it has such a robust effect on aging, and the incidence and timing of age-related disease," study author Rozalyn Anderson, an assistant professor of geriatrics at the University of Wisconsin, said in a statement.
There is enormous interest in drugs that may affect the mechanisms that are active in caloric restriction, Anderson said.