Fasting-Mimicking Diet for Health

Fasting Mimicking Diet as an Anti-Aging Strategy

In his book, Longo cites animal research showing the fasting mimicking diet in combination with treadmill exercise resulted in greater maintenance of muscle mass and a decrease in sarcopenia. Interestingly, neither strategy worked on its own. In this case, the mice got a low-calorie diet twice a month for four days at a stretch. In between, they ate normally.

As a result, they lost visceral fat but not muscle mass. This, Longo says, “really separates the fasting mimicking diet from most, if not all of other diets, in which there is always fat and water and muscle lost in the weight loss process.” Longo’s research also shows the fasting mimicking diet reduces inflammation and inflammatory diseases such as dermatitis.

Cancers are reduced by nearly 50 percent. Importantly, cancers are also significantly postponed, and many tumors are also benign rather than malignant. Cognition is also improved. In mice that received the fasting mimicking diet twice a month were cognitively doing much better than the mice on the regular diet.

Another area of improvement is the immune system, which undergoes a transformation to a more youthful state. Overall, there’s a reduction in risk factors for diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer, and an improvement in markers for aging. “So, as expected, [the diet] is really going after multiple systems and causing multisystem regeneration and rejuvenation, leading to improved performance,” Longo says.

Fasting Mimicking Diet Boosts Effectiveness of Cancer Treatment

The fasting mimicking diet, which is a very low-calorie diet, was developed to match the effects of water-only fasting, including the beneficial effects on autophagy, stem cell activation, ketone body production, IGF-1 level, IGFBP1, glucose and more. While Longo is an expert in this field of many years, I am not yet convinced that a very low-calorie diet provides as much metabolic benefit as a full five-day water fast as long as one has no contraindications.

One of the strong recommendations in Longo’s book is to actively incorporate the fasting mimicking diet if you’re undergoing treatment for cancer. Not only will it radically improve the effectiveness of the cancer therapy, but it will also decrease its side effects.

“This has been a difficult battle. We work with the top oncology hospitals in the world: MD Anderson, Mayo Clinic, USC Norris Cancer Center. So, we really didn’t want to be the rebels here. We really fought for the patients. We fought very hard, but also, we wanted them to agree with us. We wanted the oncologists to basically say, ‘Yes. This is a good way to do it.’ And in the end, I think, what we all agreed on was the following.

Now there are a number of new clinical trials that are almost finished, with hundreds of patients and fasting mimicking diets. So those, I think, are going to be conclusive … [In cases of] more advanced cancer, metastatic, [where] there are really not many options … we said the oncologist should seriously consider doing the fasting mimicking diet together with standard of care. And that’s the beauty of this [diet]. It works very well with standard of care.

We’ve now shown it for kinase inhibitors, we’ve shown it for chemotherapy. All kinds of chemotherapy, all kinds of cancers, and now we have more data coming up with all kinds of new therapy. For example, now we’re looking at immunotherapy … It makes the cancer visible to the immune system, and [can then be] attacked by the immune system, so I would say, yes, absolutely [talk] to your oncologist … At least they should read the clinical trials that are already published …  

The safety concerns, I think now, are really minimal and the potential benefits are very high … In mice, we consistently see cancer-free survival even in the metastatic models. Meaning that the mice are essentially cured in combination with the chemo or the therapy … I think it’s important to talk to patients about this, and give them an opportunity, particularly where they don’t have any viable options.”

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Important note: * I am not a doctor and these statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products or services promoted on this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. You need to do your own research.


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