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  • Adriano dos Santos

Can a Fasting-Mimicking Diet Improve Insulin Resistance, Liver Fat, and Biological Age?

The study, published in Nature Communications, adds to the body of evidence supporting the beneficial effects of the fasting- mimicking diet (FMD).


The FMD is a five-day diet high in unsaturated fats and low in overall calories, protein and carbohydrates, and is designed to mimic the effects of a water-only fast while still providing necessary nutrients and making it much easier for people to complete. The diet was developed by the laboratory of USC Leonard Davis School Prof Valter Longo, the senior author of the new study.


Previous research led by Longo has indicated that brief, periodic FMD cycles are associated with a range of beneficial effects. They can:


  • Promote stem cell regeneration: 2015 study in Cell Metabolism involving yeast and mice, then a pilot clinical trial in “generally healthy adults” concluded, “FMD cycles induce long-lasting beneficial and/or rejuvenating effects on many tissues including those of the endocrine, immune, and nervous systems in mice and in markers for diseases and regeneration in humans”.

  • Lessen chemotherapy side-effects: 2020 paper in Nature Communications showed that “Short-term fasting protects tumour-bearing mice against the toxic effects of chemotherapy while enhancing therapeutic efficacy”.

  • Reduce the signs of dementia in mice: “FMD cycles delay cognitive decline in AD models in part by reducing neuroinflammation and/or superoxide production in the brain” reported a Cell Reports paper published in 2022.

  • In addition, in 2017 research, Longo and colleagues “compared subjects who followed three months of an unrestricted diet to subjects who consumed the FMD for five consecutive days per month for three months Three FMD cycles can lower the risk factors for cancer, diabetes, heart disease and other age-related diseases in humans”.


Fasting and calorie restriction keys to offset ageing


Prof Valter Longo’s studies focus on the fundamental mechanisms of ageing in simple organisms and mice and on how these mechanisms translate to humans.


The Longo laboratory has identified some of the key genetic pathways that regulate ageing in simple organisms and has demonstrated that the inactivation of such pathways can reduce the incidence or progression of multiple diseases in mice and humans. His laboratory has also developed both dietary and genetic interventions that protect normal cells while sensitising cancer cells to chemotherapy - interventions now being tested in many US and European hospitals.


Dr Longo is a Professor of Gerontology and Biological Sciences and Director of the Longevity Institute at the University of Southern California Los Angeles, one of the leading centres for research on ageing and age-related disease. Dr Longo is also the Director of the Longevity and Cancer Program at the IFOM Institute of Molecular Oncology in Milan.


He has said: “We can argue, based on over 100 years of research, that nutrition is by far the most powerful way to alter how fast we age, and also alter whether we will develop an age-related disease like diabetes, cancer, cardiological and neurodegenerative diseases”. The Longo laboratory has previously published key findings on a five-day periodic dietary intervention called the Fasting Mimicking Diet (FMD), and showed in randomised clinical trials that FMD reduces the risk factors and markers associated with ageing and diseases. Dr Longo’s most recent studies focus on the use of FMD interventions to activate stem cell-based regeneration to promote longevity.


Prof Longo’s core objectives are: to offer treatment and other health services to patients with serious diseases and to those who seek to halt the onset of such diseases; to educate the public - both adults and youth - about how to live a long and healthy life; to sponsor research to develop innovative and creative treatment strategies that are affordable and accessible to all; and to identify ways to prevent specific diseases.


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uaeassignmenthelp007
04 jun

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