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UCL Human Cognition Calorie Restriction Study

UCL cognition

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University College London are running a short (15 min) online study to investigate differences in thinking abilities when on CR. This study has been preliminarily vetted by CR Society VP for Research.

We are aware that there is a lot of data to support the link between CR and benefits to health, but there is currently little known about the impact of CR on cognition, particularly executive function. We are comparing the results of those on a popular intermittent fasting (IF) plan (5:2) with those who have daily CR lifestyles to see if there is a difference. Our hypothesis is that those on daily CR will with have better results for certain tests relating to executive function, when compared to those on IF.

We intend to publish the results next year and we believe this will be of enormous value both to the scientific community, and to anyone who is considering their options for ways in which to improve their health. Anyone who contacts us will be sent the participant information sheet and a consent form to return before they receive a link to 5 short online tasks. All data is protected and confidential ID numbers used to further protect our participants. This study has passed rigorous ethics procedures.

If you have been restricting your calorie intake for more than 4 weeks, then please contact us if you would like to know more or sign up. A prize draw of numerous Amazon vouchers is available for all who take part. ucl.fasting.cognition@gmail.com or ucjuole@ucl.ac.uk

Researchers: John O’Leary , Freya Donaldson
Principal Researcher: Dr Lucy Serpell

Edited by Michael R
Vetted and added relevant details
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Hi Gordo, We are aiming to recruit people who are restricting their daily calorie intake by at least 15%. We are aiming for a large sample size which will allow us to control for variations in sleep and other factors between participant groups. The more people we can encourage to take part, the stronger the study. 😊

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Eh, all the participant info sheet says is "You have been chosen to take part in this study because you are a healthy adult (18-60 yrs) who has already begun either the 5:2 diet or a continuous calorie restriction (daily calorie restriction of between 15-25%) diet.".   Still isn't clear if you are expecting fat people who have been trying to lose some weight (reduced calories for the last 4 weeks) or healthy non-overweight people who eat 15-25% less than the average person of the same age, gender, and height?  Or maybe its 15% less than you ate immediately before starting your calorie restricted diet?  Or maybe you are looking for hard core calorie restrictors that are in the 15-18 BMI range?  Or maybe you don't really care and hence don't feel like defining your own criteria?  😉   Either way, I like puzzles, I'm in!  Haha.


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On 11/29/2018 at 2:56 AM, UCL cognition said:

Our hypothesis is that those on daily CR will with have better results for certain tests relating to executive function, when compared to those on IF.

Unless the cohort was large which seems unlikely isn't it likely that factors other than dietary practice such as genetics and education would have a significant impact on executive function test results?   Wouldn't it be more interesting to test people in the ad libitum state before adopting the dietary practice to see whether CR or IF improves someones executive function?  Or is the hypothesis that people with better executive function select CR vs IF?   Then there is the consideration that CR and IF aren't mutually exclusive.

Edited by Todd Allen
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I just took the test, one part was pretty crazy.  Yea, I'm not sure what they are really going after, but I would think aptitude (IQ) would play a pretty big role in how you perform on this test, and there is no "before vs. after" diet change being done.  They didn't ask about age, gender, height, weight, sleep or any other potentially confounding variables. I'm not sure what this study is really all about, there must be something they are hiding, haha.  They seem to have put a lot of work into setting up the testing platform...  They pretty much only ask you to describe in detail what you ate and when, for the day you are taking the test, and you have to take it in a specific 4 hour evening window.  You are also supposed to take the test twice on different days, not more than 7 days apart, so I'm thinking there could be some potentially interesting data to mine there related to food choices and test performance or timing of eating and test performance when comparing your first result to the second result.  I don't know if the second test will be identical to the first one, if so, you might do better the second time just because you are familiar with the test and its instructions.

Edited by Gordo
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