Diet That Mimics Fasting May Slow Aging
Tricking the body to think it is fasting may actually help slow down the aging process. A study at the University of Southern California that has completed mice, yeast, and human trials suggests that a four-day, low-calorie diet that mimics fasting (FMD) can help reduce belly fat, boosts memory, and induces regeneration.
The diet slashes caloric intake down to 34 to 54 percent of normal and requires a specific composition of proteins, carbs, fats, and micronutrients, while significantly reducing the hormone IGF-I, a hormone that helps growth but has been linked to aging and cancer susceptibility. IGFBP hormone was also increased which helped reduce factors linked to diabetes and heart disease. Cancer cells seem to be starved out while the immune system is boosted with this diet, as well.
For 25 days a month, study participants went back to their regular eating habits — good or bad — once they finished the treatment. They were not asked to change their diet and still saw positive changes.
The researchers believe that for most normal people, the FMD can be done every three to six months. For obese subjects or those with elevated disease risk factors, the FMD could be recommended by the physician as often as once every two weeks.
The scientists acknowledged that a doctor should always be consulted with when following an FMD because not everyone is healthy enough or they may have pre-existing conditions that do not make them a good candidate.