CRON is Roy Walford’s acronym for Calorie Restriction with Optimal Nutrition.
Walford thought he found out what CRON is, but I seriously doubt that, because so many of his notions came from mouse experiments. Vegetarian, nocturnal, inbred, imprisoned mice, who are overly stressed (who live in fear of their captors, who live without hope of a better life), and who are fed a chemically defined diet (deficient in many possible conditionally essential nutrients) that is unlikely to have been properly taste-optimized, and which is allowed to go stale (think of the damage to oxygen and light-sensitive molecules like essential fats!) each and every day, are a poor model system for the omnivorous, diurnal, outbred, free-living human beings, who need not be overly stressed, who need not live in fear and who can at least cling to hope of a better life, and who can feed themselves a diet of delicious wholesome and fresh whole foods.
Optimal nutrition is personal and specific – the optimal amount of each essential and each conditionally essential nutrient for each individual is different and at present unknowable, and thus CRON is not currently possible. In a more enlightened age, it may become possible.
First we must get beyond:
1. The erroneous “one size fits all” and realize that nutritional requirements are personal and specific. Some nutrients are in excess in our diets, and we must correct these, as excesses are bad, almost as bad as deficiencies.
2. We must get past equating “non-essential” nutrients with “unimportant” nutrients, and we must learn what our conditionally essential nutrients are, and how they change with time and with circumstances, but before that, we must realize the concept is not a fiction. Get real – is glutamine not conditionally essential in critical care? It is beyond essential – it is life or death! Start from that and move on!
3. We must replace plasma concentrations of nutrients with local biological activities.
4. We must develop tests for biological activities of thousands of nutrients, most of which are non-essential, in thousands of places throughout the body. Dr. McCoy’s tricorder could be something like this.
5. After we do this, maybe CRON will exist, but it might just be one supplemented super meal a day -and with reduced toxicity, natural and man-made- with proper supplementation throughout the day. No snacks! No second and third meals! Such insulin dominance spells health problems!