Professor Valter Longo of USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, along with colleague Rozalyn Anderson of the University of Wisconsin, described in one studio Published on “Cell” the characteristics of the longevity diet. The two scientists looked at hundreds of research on nutrition, disease and longevity in laboratory animals and humans and combined it with their own research on nutrients and aging. The analysis, in addition to popular diets (ketogenic, vegetarian, Mediterranean), also included the review of some forms of fasting (intermittent, periodic). Finally, the team linked these studies to specific dietary factors that influence different genetic pathways and markers disease risk, including insulin levels, C-reactive protein, insulin-like growth factor 1, and cholesterol.
What, then, are the salient aspects of the longevity diet? First of all, moderate to high carbohydrate intake from unrefined sources and low consumption of protein preferably derived from plant sources. Ideally, daily meals should all take place within an 11-12 hour window. This allows for a daily period of fast which can help reduce insulin resistance, blood pressure and other risk factors for those more prone to disease. To live longer you would need to eat many legumes, Whole grains and vegetables. Red meat or overly processed meat is banned. Foods such as some types of fish, white meats and dark chocolate are allowed in moderation.
The next step in the search for the ideal longevity diet will be a study involving 500 participants residing in Southern Italy. The longevity diet has both similarities and differences to Mediterranean diets typical of super aging “blue areas”: Sardinia (Italy), Okinawa (Japan), Loma Linda (California). In these communities, where there is often a large number of subjects aged 100 or over, the diets are largely vegetarian. According to Longo, the age of longevity must be adapted to individuals based on gender, age, health status and genetics. For example, people over the age of 65 may need to increase their protein intake to counteract frailty and loss of lean body mass.
“The longevity diet – conclude the scientists – is not a diet to be adopted exclusively to lose weight, but it is a real lifestyle that promises to slow downaging. As such it can complement assistance standard sanitary. Also, if taken as a preventative measure, it will help to avoid it morbidity and to support health in old age “.