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A calorie restricted diet promotes longer and healthier lifespan

Posted:  Thursday, June 25, 2015

Go ahead and mark your calendars - block five days a month to follow a calorie restricted diet! A recent research paper shows that a calorie restricted diet has anti-ageing effects and also wards off the risks factors for diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease (CVD).

According to a study published in the journal Cell Metabolism, researchers developed a diet termed fasting-mimicking-diet (FMD) comprising 34-54% of the normal caloric intake, 42–43% carbohydrates, low protein (11–14%) and low fat (44–46%) which stimulated fasting effects by attaining low glucose levels and high ketone levels.

On achieving promising results (cell regeneration, reduction in cancer and inflammatory disease incidence, fat loss without lean body mass changes, and improvement in learning and memory) in mice trials, a FMD intervention was carried out on group of 19 healthy people, aged 18–70, for 5 days a month for 3 months.

In comparison with a normal diet, the fasting-mimicking-diet reduced risk factors for ageing, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer as well as the markers associated with inflammation and weight loss. Previously this research team reported sole consumption of water for 2–4 days flushed out damaged cells as well as regenerated new ones. Another study stated that high risk individuals can keep diabetes at bay by fasting periodically.

Co-researcher Valter D. Longo stated, "This is arguably the first non-chronic pre-clinically and clinically tested anti-aging and healthspan-promoting intervention shown to work and to be very feasible as a doctor or dietician-supervised intervention"

He however cautioned that medical supervision is necessary while following the FMD as the food restriction must be monitored to prevent any adverse effects. Currently, the research team is testing the efficacy of the FMD intervention and seeks to follow this up with a clinical trial to obtain the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval for clinical use.

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