According to a new study by the researchers of the University of Southern California, a diet that mimics fasting decreased the risk factors of biomarkers for aging, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and cancer with no major adverse side effects.
Researchers said that the diet doesn’t require any changes to what people eat, but for only five days per months the participants have cut their calorie intake to between 35 and 55 percent of normal, which allows the body to cleanse and rejuvenate.
Valter Longo, Edna M. Jones Professor of Biogerontology at the USC Davis School of Gerontology and director of the USC Longevity Institute said, “It’s about reprogramming the body so it enters a slower aging mode, but also rejuvenating it through stem cell-based regeneration. It’s not a typical diet because it isn’t something you need to stay on.”
Five days in the month, the participants were asked to very specific diet designed for their bodies, broken down into specific percentage of protein, fat and carbohydrates, which works out to a total number of calories for each day of the fast. The rest of the month, they could eat whatever they normally did.
Every month the participants were measured, following the diet in three bi-monthly cycles, and researchers found to have positive affects with lower biomarkers for aging, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.
Longo said, “If the results remain as positive as the current ones, I believe this FMD will represent the first safe and effective intervention to promote positive changes associated with longevity and health span, which can be recommended by a physician.”
“This is arguably the first non-chronic pre-clinically and clinically tested anti-aging and healthspan-promoting intervention shown to work and to be very feasible as a doctor or dietitian-supervised intervention,” Longo said. “The FMD intervention will now undergo the rigorous process needed for FDA approval, which will first require confirmation and additional tests in 60 to 70 participants, followed by a trial with 500-1,000 participants.”
The findings of the study are published in the journal Cell Metabolism.