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Food, Farming and Nutrition

Article Abstracts
Jul 07, 2021

Food, Farming and Nutrition

Fasting-Mimicking Diet Found to Reverse Aging and Chronic Disease

Article Abstracts
Mar 03, 2024

Fasting has been a hot topic of late and is said to offer a multitude of health benefits. On a recent episode of The Institute for Functional Medicine’s (IFM) Pathways to Well-Being podcast, guest Dr. Valter Longo, an award-winning expert on the mechanisms of aging, explored the relationship between fasting and aging. Chair of the Longevity Institute at the University of Southern California, Dr. Longo discussed how fasting strategies can aid in the treatment and prevention of chronic disease while optimizing overall health and longevity, as discovered in a recent study he conducted. Longo researched the mechanisms behind the fasting-mimicking diet (FMD) and how fasting interventions impact disease risk factors and aging.

The FMD is a five-day meal program that has gone through clinical trials at the University of Southern California and been patented for its healthy-aging effects. While following the diet, micro- and macro-nutrients are delivered in precise quantities and combinations that nourish but are not recognized as food by the body, which mimics a fasting state.

Dr. Longo discovered that fast-mimicking resulted in a decrease in intestinal diseases in mice and in systemic inflammation in humans. His research also revealed that during the FMD, damaged cells, including cancer cells, stimulated stem cells that worked to rebuild the system. Glucose was metabolized more effectively, middle-aged mice lived longer, and tumors were delayed. The common finding was a reduction in inflammation, especially in the brain. All in all, it was found that FMD has powerful regenerative and anti-inflammatory effects as well as a positive impact on cognition.

Three months after the end of three cycles of five-day FMD, about 60% of the significant effects were still present, indicating that it can be extremely beneficial for healthy people to follow the FMD at least two times a year. Longo’s theory is that just as sleep rejuvenates the body, fasting may activate the body’s filter to maintain the good and get rid of the bad while restoring the damaged. His findings offer great hope for reversing the aging process as well as treating and preventing chronic disease.


Wattles, K. (Host). (2021). The fasting-mimicking diet: Impacts on aging and chronic disease. [Audio podcast episode]. In Pathways to Well-Being. The Institute for Functional Medicine. https://www.ifm.org/news-insights/the-fasting-mimicking-diet-impacts-on-aging-and-chronic-disease/?

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