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New podcast! This one is with Dr. Valter Longo, one of the top researchers on human aging and is director of the Longevity Institute at USC. Dr. Longo’s work in longevity and fasting is profoundly unique, in part, because it spans from lower organisms, where he has teased out basic mechanisms of longevity, to animals, such as mice, and finally, translating it into actual clinical practice in humans. Many scientists spend their entire career specializing in just one model organism! In this podcast, Valter and I discuss his research in mice and humans looking at how prolonged fasting and a fasting mimicking diet on improves biomarkers of longevity, increases stem cells, improves cancer prevention, enhances cancer treatment and diminishes toxic side effects of chemotherapy, and mitigates autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis by changing immune cells phenotypes. I hope you enjoy it and pass it along to a friend. Also, as usual, this one is available on iTunes as well.
Hi Rhonda. As a fellow scientist, I really appreciate your approach and find it so incredibly valuable. I think you are on track to be a more technical version of Science Friday. I am so happy that you are doing this.
Apologies if this has been addressed before, but I can’t seem to find an answer. I am a middle aged mountain athlete, which basically works out to mountaineering and trail running in the summer, and indoor rock climbing and skiing in the winter. I acquire a fair number of injuries and I’m always looking for ways to optimize healing. What I find so curious is that my friends who are elite athletes all seem to heal much more quickly than normal.
I became interested in FMD for its injury healing potential. I ran it twice, and both times experienced healing of nagging tendinitis or even sprains. I tried a 72 hour water fast, and didn’t experience the same benefit, suggesting that the prolonged fast is necessary to stimulate the kind of authphagy I needed. So far so good.
I am wondering, though, how to operationalize FMD or 5 day water fasts with my training schedule. I can’t train while fasting, and the period of time immediately after fasting seems like it would be a vulnerable time, with tissue broken down and the immune system diminished due to autophagy. Do you have any thoughts on this? And just how much time does an athlete really need to recover from a prolonged fast?
Thank you for your thoughts! I understand you may not have all the answers, and I respect that when you don’t, you say so. If you could point me in the right direction, I’d appreciate it.
Question: If I eat a few packages of miracle noodles (zero calories) will that adversely affect the fast? I’m wondering if my body has to digest even zero calorie bulk, that the process of digesting doesn’t qualify as fasting.
Did you ever formulate a FMD that the rest of us can follow?
My understanding is that Valter’s book actually has a whole foods example. That’s probably your best resource!
Prior to the release of his book, I did try to improvise something that roughly matched the macro and caloric targets he brought up during the conversation. It’s important to realize, however, that improvisation like this cannot be said to have been scientifically proven to have the same effects that Valter’s FMD has. I think that has a lot of value if you’re going to go through the trouble of going through with something that might, at the very least, be mildly unpleasant (which fasting for 4-5 days could be said to be).
With that said, here is my example…
The appropriateness of doing something like this is also affected by your overall health status, which means you should almost certainly consult a physician first. And drink lots of water.
One benefit of going through the real fasting-mimicking diet is also that they give you a questionnaire that helps assess whether you should be seeking medical supervision while embarking on your mimicked fast. Plus, you get to know that you’re doing it right!
It appears that fat contributes 44% of calories in the fasting mimicking diet. Though this high % may work well for those who are say APOE 2/3, I wonder it will work just as well for those with APOE ¾? I am basing this question on the APOE gene-diet where more carbohydrate is recommended for APOE ¾: https://www.google.com/patents/EP2038866A2?cl=en
The % recommended for APOE ¾: 20% fat;, 25% protein, and 55% carbohydrate.
There are so many mixed studies on whether people with the apoE4 allele should eat a higher carbohydrate versus fat ratio. What is more clear is that a higher polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat ratio may be important since saturated fat increases LDL particles and apoE4 also dramatically increases LDL particle number.
Additionally, the FMD has positive effects on lipids, including lowering triglycerides and LDL. While the FMD is high in fat, the fat is from polyunsaturated and monounsaturated sources! That’s an important distinction.
I am adding apoE4 to my genetic report this week and will be discussing some plausible interventional approaches there. :)