A new study suggests that a fasting mimic diet sustained for no longer than five days may greatly improve health and longevity, while reducing signs of aging.
The study, coming from the University of Southern California and co-authored by Valter D.Longo, also activating at Italy’s FIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology is published in the Cell Metabolism journal.
Summarized in a sentence, the study found that following a diet that mimics fasting for no longer than five days over a period of three months has great benefits for reducing risk factors connected to cancer, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, while reversing aging signs and increasing longevity.
Building on previous findings that extreme fasting reboots our immune system and accurately protects against diabetes, Valter D. Longo took the research one step further.
His previous studies indicated that extreme fasting or consuming nothing but water for a period of two to four days helps in generating new cells while cleaning out the damaged ones. At the same time, that it protects from the risk of diabetes.
Yet, this type of fasting mimic diet, especially in its extreme form, is not fit for older individuals. And our psychological setting finds it challenging to put up with such an extreme change in the dietary behavior, albeit for a short period of time.
One statement to this extent reads:
“These concerns point to the need for dietary interventions that induce prolonged fasting-like effects while minimizing the risk of adverse effects and the burden of complete food restriction”.
Thus, the new research focused on a fasting mimic diet which entails low-calorie intake without extensive restrictions on the food groups consumed.
One five day cycle over three months was found to significantly reduce visceral belly fat. At the same time, clear evidence pointed to the increase in progenitor as well as stem cells of more organs.
Initially, the study was conducted on older mice and a culture of yeast. Both studies were piloted on humans as well, with great replicated results.
For the mice, the fasting mimic diet, with a reduced number of calories was found to increase their rather short life span. To control the results, one control group was given the same amount of calories as the fasting mice.
It was found that the effects were not caused by an overall diet restriction. At the same time, it is worth noting that the effects visibly reduced the risk levels of cancer and inflammatory diseases. Also, mineral density loss in the bones was significantly reduced and the mice’s immune system received a boost.
The human trial saw the same cycle of a five day fasting mimic diet repeat over three months. 19 people were included in the trial.
Without the presence of adverse effects, the results of the study on mice were perfectly present with humans as well.
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