Home Christian Lifestyle Healthy Living Fasting Mimicking Diet — All the Benefits of Water Fasting Without the Drawbacks by Dr. Mercola

Fasting Mimicking Diet — All the Benefits of Water Fasting Without the Drawbacks by Dr. Mercola

5 min read

Story at-a-glance

  • Fasting is an effective antiaging strategy, switching on your body’s ability to promote cellular protection, regeneration and rejuvenation
  • The fasting mimicking diet, developed by Valter Longo and his team at the USC’s Longevity Institute, was developed to produce the same health benefits as water fasting, while making it safer and easier to comply with the restrictions
  • While starvation triggers the cleanout process of autophagy and activates stem cells, refeeding triggers rebuilding, and for optimal health you really need both; hence, cycling between fasting and feasting is important
  • The fasting mimicking diet lowers inflammation and inflammatory diseases, and reduces cancers by nearly 50 percent. Cognition and immune function are also improved
  • Overall, the fasting mimicking diet reduces risk factors for diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer, and improves markers for aging

Most of us want to live a healthy, long life. But what’s the best way to switch on your body’s ability to promote cellular protection, regeneration and rejuvenation? In this interview, Valter Longo, Ph.D., a researcher and director of the Longevity Institute at the University of Southern California (USC), helps answer that question, as he’s investigated this topic for over two decades.

His findings are detailed in the recently released book, “The Longevity Diet: Discover the New Science Behind Stem Cell Activation and Regeneration to Slow Aging, Fight Disease, and Optimize Weight,” which also provides the research framework to support his recommendations.

Early on in his career, during his doctoral work, he studied calorie restriction with the late Dr. Roy Walford, who was a pioneer in this area at the time. Calorie restriction involves restricting your calorie intake on a daily basis independently of the types of foods you eat.

As a general rule, you eat just 30 percent or less of your normal calorie amount, until you reach a body mass index (BMI) of about 19. Needless to say, it’s quite extreme. And, for all its benefits, it also causes quite a few problems. They eventually discovered that a form of intermittent fasting, dubbed the fasting mimicking diet, provided long-lasting benefits without the drawbacks of long-term calorie restriction.

“I think where the fasting mimicking diet, the periodic nature of what we’re doing … is this idea of keeping the benefits by eliminating the problems,” Longo says. “And, of course, I had the advantage of having [a background in] molecular biology and the biochemistry, which Walford didn’t have, so at the time there was not much known.”

Sugar Is a Potent Aging Accelerator

By studying the effects of starvation on yeast, Longo discovered that sugar accelerates aging and premature death, in part by activating two genes known as Ras and PKA, both of which are known to accelerate aging. Longo explains:

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