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Fasting-mimicking diet: rejuvenates and reduces the risk of diseases

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Fasting-mimicking diet: rejuvenates and reduces the risk of diseases

The University of Southern California analyzed the effects of the dietary model developed by Valter Longo

Have you ever thought about trying intermittent fasting to lose weight? Not everyone is able to give up entire meals and the temptation to give in to hunger can slow down the weight loss journey. This is where the fasting-mimicking diet comes in, a program inspired by water-based fasting but with some important differences. And, according to a study conducted by the University of Southern California, with various beneficial effects on our body.

What is the fasting mimicking diet— Let’s start from the definition of fasting-mimicking diet. This program is designed to replicate the effects of a normal water-based fast, but without losing the nutrients deriving from food. It lasts 5 days, in which calories are progressively reduced: foods must be of plant origin and contain carbohydrates and unsaturated fats, with little protein. This diet was designed by a team led by the Italian researcher Valter Longo: this dietary model would have positive effects on the aging of the immune system (with reduction of biological age) and would reduce insulin resistance and abdominal and liver fat, also reducing some risk factors for cancer, metabolic and cardiovascular diseases.

Fasting-mimicking diet: the study— If the beneficial effects on the risk of diseases had already been analyzed by previous studies conducted by Longo himself, the University of Southern California (USC) focused above all on the effects on aging and biological age. The study required the training of two groups of people including men and women aged between 18 and 70: one group was subjected to 3-4 monthly cycles of 5 days of fasting-mimicking diet, followed by 25 days of normal feeding; the second group, which performed a control function, instead followed a standard Mediterranean diet.

The results of the study— At the end of the experiment, researchers at the University of Southern California analyzed blood samples from each group. From these, it emerged that the fasting-mimicking diet group reported less insulin resistance and lower glycated hemoglobin results, factors that reduce the risk of diabetes. Fat levels also decreased and the immune system appeared younger than in the control group samples. Not only that: the first group of patients, according to this study, reduced their biological age by approximately 2.5 years, demonstrating the positive effects from the point of view of cellular rejuvenation.

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