I was attracted to this article, released today in Science Translational Medicine, by the title, which starts “Fasting-mimicking diet…”. The authors point out the advantages, in animal studies, of prolonged fasting; longer lifespan, reduced inflammation, less cancer, perhaps better cognition. But, they state that “prolonged fasting is difficult to implement in human subjects”. I hope this wasn’t surprising to them. So, how do you mimic fasting; without fasting? Their answer is a diet low in calories, sugar and protein, but high in unsaturated fat. What makes their approach even more attractive is that the ‘fasting-mimicking” diet contains 700-1,000 calories, and is only given for five consecutive days every month. This is the same calorie range used in the “alternate-day fasting” diets discussed (but not really recommended) in the recent statement on meal timing and frequency by the American Heart Association. See our January 31 post, and the AHA statement. This study showed nice improvements in weight and blood pressure over 3 monthly cycles of the 5-day fasting-mimicking diet. The approach of intermittent dietary restriction is attractive, and something to consider in clinical practice.
See abstract here.