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Longevity Briefs: A More Attainable Alternative To Fasting?

Posted on 11 December 2020

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Longevity briefs provides a short summary of novel research in biology, medicine, or biotechnology that caught the attention of our researchers in Oxford, due to its potential to improve our health, wellbeing, and longevity.

Why is this research important: There is evidence that extreme diets such as fasting, intermittant fasting or sharp reduction in food intake can promote healthy ageing. However, such diets are difficult for most people to adhere to, and can be harmful for some individuals. Fasting-mimicking diets (FMD) are generally low sugar, low protein, high unsaturated fat diets designed to achieve some of the benefits of fasting with fewer of the drawbacks.

What did the researchers do: Researchers randomised 100 study participants into two groups. One group followed a fasting-mimicking diet for 5 consecutive days per month for three months, while the control group’s diet was unrestricted. After three months, the control group was switched over to the FMD program.

Key takeaway(s) from this research: The FMD program was associated with significant reductions in body weight, waist circumference, body mass index, absolute total body and trunk fat, systolic blood pressure and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1). Markers such as fasting glucose, triglycerides, the inflammatory marker CRP, HDL, LDL and total cholesterol were not significantly affected. However, the FMD diet had a more pronounced beneficial effect on these markers in individuals who were more at risk of metabolic/age related disease. The FMD program used appeared to be safe.

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    Fasting-mimicking diet and markers/risk factors for aging, diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease: doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aai8700

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