Fasting “Mimicking” Diet (FMD) to Improve Your Healthspan

By on July 25, 2017

Have you ever thought about why we do not get Alzheimer’s disease at age 20 or Type 2 Diabetes at age 18? Why most cancers and heart attacks happen at a later stage in life? It is because aging is the catalyst for major chronic diseases. Instead of continuing “sick care” (caring for your health after you present a symptom or develop a disease), how can we promote “health care” and stay healthier, longer?

Twenty-five years ago, pioneer researcher Professor Valter Longo, director of the Longevity Institute at the University of Southern California (USC) began to explore the relationship between aging and chronic disease. He discovered how cells age at the molecular level and his breakthrough findings were published in top scientific journals. He then started researching interventions that could reverse biological aging and revealed that prolonged fasting (fasting for three or more days) induces a protectionist mode in the body along with a variety of cellular and metabolic changes.

The body without calories is like a company with no proper financing. While the company might let go of some of its less cost-effective employees and optimize its expenditures and performance, the body takes similar measures to survive. It sheds aged cells with DNA damage and pushes the young stem cells to replace those. These anti-aging effects regulate the pace at which we age and therefore delay the onset of chronic disease. It basically increases our healthspan, the healthy part of our life. In Dr. Longo’s preclinical trials, fasted mice showed an 11.3% increase in their lifespan.

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Since it is difficult to practice water-only fast for five consecutive days, the Longo research team, under the sponsorship of the National Institute of Health (NIH), the National Institute of Aging (NIA), and the National Cancer Institute (NCI), have developed a plant-based nutrition program they call a “Fasting Mimicking Diet (FMD).” It nourishes the body with food for five days but provides the same benefits of prolonged fasting.

What’s the Evidence?

The scientific team behind the development of the FMD has completed randomized preclinical and clinical trials on the product to scientifically prove the value of this technology. The latest study (“Fasting-mimicking diet and markers/risk factors for aging, diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease” published in Science and Translational Medicine, Feb 2017) found that the FMD reduced risks for cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and other age-related diseases in human study participants who followed the meal plan for just five days each month for three consecutive months.

The daily meals range from 770 to 1,100 calories per day and are clinically proven to promote natural multi-system regeneration, including effects on a wide range of markers that contribute to aging, such as cholesterol, triglyceride, blood pressure, inflammation, and fasting blood glucose; maintain healthy levels of stem cells; help people lose an average of five pounds of fat and 1.2 inches of waist circumference while preserving lean body mass (muscle and bone); and provide the body with healthy, plant-based ingredients (free from any preservatives or chemicals) that provide the body with optimal nourishment including essential vitamins and amino acids, low-protein, low-carbohydrate, and high good fat ingredients to help the body protect and repair itself in a natural way.

How Does it Work?

The five-day FMD meal plan tricks the body into thinking it is fasting, allowing people to turn back the clock and protect themselves against aging and age-related diseases while nourishing the body with a low-calorie, plant-based, gluten-free diet. No other lifestyle intervention is needed during the remaining days of each month.

Not Just for Study Participants

The FMD used in the human study is called ProLon and is the first food technology of its kind. ProLon is now available for purchase to the public through health care professionals or online after taking a health assessment available on ProLon site. ProLon meals include plant-based energy bars, soups, a variety of snacks, drinks, and supplements to support healthy aging, cell regeneration, and fat-driven weight loss.​

Joseph Antoun, MD, MS, MPP is the CEO of L-Nutra, Inc. He has completed his studies in Public Policy at Harvard University, in Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, and has a Doctorate in Medicine and Masters in Medical and Biological Sciences from Saint Joseph University.

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Fasting “Mimicking” Diet (FMD) to Improve Your Healthspan