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Fasting-like diet reduces disease risk factors, reduces biological age in humans: Study


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Diet cycles that mimic fasting can reduce signs of immune system aging, as well as insulin resistance and liver fat in humans, according to a new study led by the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology. As a result, biological age is reduced.

The study, published in nature communication On February 20, evidence supporting the beneficial effects of a fasting-mimicking diet (FMD) increased.

The FMD is a five-day diet high in unsaturated fats and low in total calories, protein and carbohydrates and is designed to mimic the effects of a water-only fast while providing essential nutrients and is recommended for people Very easy to complete. Fast. The diet was developed by the laboratory of the new study's senior author, USC Leonard Davis School Professor Walter Longo.

“This is the first study to show that a food-based intervention that does not require long-term dietary or other lifestyle changes can make people biologically younger, preventing changes in risk factors for aging and disease,” and by Levine. developed a validated method based on both groups to estimate biological age,” Longo said.

Previous research led by Longo has indicated that brief, periodic FMD cycles are associated with several beneficial effects. they can do:

Additionally, the FMD cycle may reduce risk factors for cancer, diabetes, heart disease and other age-related diseases in humans.

The Longo lab also previously showed that one or two cycles of FMD for five days a month increased the health and lifespan of mice on a normal or Western diet, but the effects of FMD on aging and biological aging, liver fat, were limited. Is. And the aging of the immune system in humans was unknown until now.

Risk of disease is lower and cells are more youthful

The study analyzed the effects of the diet in two clinical trial populations, each consisting of men and women aged 18 to 70. Patients who were randomized to the fasting-simulating diet underwent 3-4 menstrual cycles while following the FMD for 5 days. Then ate normal diet for 25 days.

The FMD consists of plant-based soups, energy bars, energy drinks, chip snacks and teas separated for 5 days, as well as a supplement providing high levels of minerals, vitamins and essential fatty acids. Patients in the control groups were instructed to eat a normal or Mediterranean-style diet.

Analysis of blood samples from trial participants showed that patients in the FMD group had fewer diabetes risk factors, including less insulin resistance and lower HbA1c results. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed a reduction in abdominal fat as well as fat within the liver, an improvement associated with a reduced risk of metabolic syndrome. Additionally, the FMD cycle appeared to increase the lymphoid-to-myeloid ratio – an indicator of a more youthful immune system.

Further statistical analysis of the results of both clinical studies showed that FMD participants reduced their biological age – a measure of how well one's cells and tissues are functioning, as opposed to chronological age – by an average of 2.5 years .

“This study shows for the first time from two separate clinical trials evidence of a reduction in biological age, as well as evidence of rejuvenation of metabolism and immune function,” Longo said.

The study, led by first author Sebastian Brandhorst, USC Leonard Davis Research Associate Professor, and Morgan E. Levin, founding principal investigator of Altos Labs and USC Leonard Davis Ph.D. Organized by. Alumni, Longo said, increasingly support the potential of the FMD as a short-term periodic, achievable dietary intervention that can help people reduce disease risk and improve their health without widespread lifestyle changes. Could.

“Although many doctors are already recommending FMD in the United States and Europe, these findings should prompt many health care professionals to recommend FMD cycles for patients with higher than desired levels of disease risk factors, as well as for the general population. There is increased activity and interest at a younger age,” Longo said.

more information:
Fasting-simulated diet causes changes in liver and blood markers that indicate reduced biological age and disease risk, nature communication (2024). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-024-45260-9

Journal Information:
nature communication


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July 2024
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