For several years, the FoodTrients team attended the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M) Annual World Congress in Las Vegas. And every year we found ourselves even more excited about the scientific and medical evidence presented there around food, fasting, and nutrients, and how we can live longer, healthier lives.
On the opening day of that conference, an entire track of lectures on fasting followed the keynote address from Dr. Valter Longo, director of the Longevity Institute at the University of Southern California (USC) and author of The Longevity Diet, based on his ground-breaking research on a “fasting mimicking” diet. Dr. Longo was also a keynote speaker at the December 2021 conference.
One of the afternoon speakers was Dr. Kurt Hong, professor of Clinical Medicine and Director at the USC Center for Clinical Nutrition, Keck School of Medicine and Davis School of Gerontology, USC. His topic: Fasting and Metabolic Syndrome, Inflammation and Immune Diseases.
What did we learn? Americans eat too much, and that is creating an unprecedented number of health issues. Dr. Hong walked us through a variety of fasting regimens and explained the benefits of each program, but first he gave us the startling facts of chronic disease and healthcare.
Today, people are living longer than ever before. There are currently more than 1 billion people worldwide over 65 years of age. People over 65 will comprise more than 22% of the U.S. population by 2030. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control):
The diseases of aging continue to plague us with few “cures” in site. Cancer, aging, obesity and chronic diseases are growing epidemics taking a huge toll on healthcare resources.
The average lifespan expectancy has increased dramatically in the last 100 years, but healthy lifespan expectancy (“healthspan”) has not increased at the same rate. But how do we increase healthspan?
According to Dr. Hong and other medical and scientific researchers who spoke at the A4M conference, fasting may provide one of the best ways to fight off the diseases of aging. Autophagy (cellular “self cleaning”) is a biological process that plays a key role in your body’s ability to detoxify, repair, and regenerate itself. When you activate your body’s autophagy, you reduce inflammation and slow down the aging process. Unfortunately, autophagy declines with age, and this decline is prominent in heart disease and other chronic diseases.
Why do we age? Here are a few theories of cellular and molecular aging presented in Dr. Hong’s speech:
And other determinants include:
While food may feed the stomach, fasting “feeds” our cells. Fasting is not right (or safe) for everyone, but are some fasting regimens better than others? Based on the research presented at the A4M conference, Dr. Longo’s Fasting Mimicking Diet appears to have the edge on other fasting methods. Here is a rundown of the options and benefits that researchers have determined so far:
There are, however, concerns when it comes to PF:
What are the effects of IF?
In mice, IF helps to prevent or delay myocardial infarction, diabetes, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. That’s exciting news if research can prove the same results in humans.
Involves daily fasting intervals ranging from 12 to 20 hours, e.g., fasting from dinner until lunch the following day. There are no guidelines on amount or composition of food intake. In humans, it is associated with:
When Dr. Hong’s patients tried Dr. Longo’s Fasting Mimicking program for 3 months (for 5 days each month), he saw improved C-reactive protein and stem cells – both major issues when it comes to the diseases of aging. He also believes the diet can help people with autoimmune diseases and says that research is currently being done on Fasting Mimicking and MS, age-related metabolic diseases, neurologic diseases, cancer and cardiovascular problems.
The Fasting Mimicking program is NOT recommended for people:
What is the Fasting Mimicking Diet?
FMDs mimic the beneficial effects of fasting without the challenges. Here’s how it works:
Dr. Longo’s research on Cell Metabolism (2015) at the USC Longevity Institute discovered that:
Here are the amazing results that Dr. Longo’s studies revealed according to our own anti-aging expert advisor, Dr. Mark Rosenberg:
The bottom line . . .
“If we can reverse or slow down the process of aging, we can prevent many of these diseases,” says Dr. Hong.