Dietary restriction as demonstrated by various animal models shows many health benefits. Fasting as understood by the majority of people is the consumption of water only, an extreme form of restriction. Studies in animals and people suggest repeated cycles of fasting may strengthen certain metabolic and immune functions. However, fasting for two or more days is difficult and can have untoward health effects.
Researchers led by Dr. Valter Longo at the University of Southern California examined diets incorporating “the beneficial effects of fasting while minimizing the risks and difficulty associated with complete food restriction. The research was funded in part by NIH’s National Institute on Aging (NIA). Results were published in Cell Metabolism on July 7, 2015.” (Torgan, 2015)
Longo et al. initially tested cycles of extended fasting in yeast. It was noted that yeast cycled back and forth from a nutrient rich environment to water “had a longer lifespan and were better able to survive toxin exposure—a marker of increased stress resistance—than yeast not exposed to periodic starvation.” (Torgan, 2015)
Researchers then tested a very low calorie, low protein diet in mice. The diet structured to copy some of the healthful effects of fasting, including improving markers of longevity in metabolism. “Middle-aged mice (16 months old) were fed the diet for 4 consecutive days, followed by 10 days of unlimited access to food. The mice overate during these phases so that their overall calorie intake was similar to mice continuously fed a regular diet.” (Torgan, 2015)
These mice fed the diet twice a month continuing for several months experienced various metabolic changes, including lower blood glucose and insulin levels, then mice fed the control diet. The metabolic markers reverted to baseline levels during cycles of refeeding. “Mice fed the diet had less fat around their organs (known as deep or visceral fat) at 28 months of age. They also had a greater bone density at old age and increased nerve cell development in the brain. At the end of life, mice on the diet had fewer tumors and skin lesions than control mice.” (Torgan, 2015)
Finally, a pilot study was administered on a small group of people. “Nineteen healthy adults consumed a proprietary plant-based diet that provided between 34% and 54% of the normal caloric intake with at least 9–10% protein, 34–47% carbohydrate, and 44–56% fat. Participants consumed the diet 5 days a month for 3 months (3 cycles), resuming their normal diet at the end of each diet period. A control group of 19 adults ate a normal diet.” (Torgan, 2015)
Again, people on the diet showed improvements in blood glucose and decreased body weight compared to the control group. Individuals with elevated C- reactive protein levels (a marker of heart disease risk) had decreased levels; individuals with normal levels had no change. Some side effects were noted by individuals on the diet is especially the T, weakness, and headache.
“Strict fasting is hard for people to stick to, and it can also be dangerous, so we developed a complex diet that triggers the same effects in the body,” Longo says. “It’s not a typical diet because it isn’t something you need to stay on.”Longo went on to say, “I’ve personally tried both, and the fasting mimicking diet is a lot easier and also a lot safer.” (Perkins, 2015)
Although the diet has many positive aspects, Dr. Longo raised a caution flag against water only fasting and warned that the fast mimicking diet should not be attempted without first consulting a MD. and remaining under their guidance throughout the dieting process.
“Not everyone is healthy enough to fast for five days, and the health consequences can be severe for a few who do it improperly,” Longo said. “Water-only fasting should only be done in a specialized clinic. Also, certain types of very low-calorie diets, and particularly those with high protein content, can increase the incidence of gallstones in women at risk.” (Perkins, 2015)
“In contrast,” he added, “the fasting mimicking diet tested in the trial can be done anywhere under the supervision of a physician and carefully following the guidelines established in the clinical trials.” (Perkins, 2015)
More research with a larger study group is needed to resolve the long-term effects of this particular diet on human health and offer information on when and how such a diet might be applied.
Dear readers, if you have read this far, the Captain would be most heartened if you would rate this and future articles and/or leave a comment at the top of the blog posts whether positive or negative. In this way, “The Fat Bastard Gazette” may better serve you and our entire readership.
Perkins, R. (2015, June 18). Diet that mimics fasting appears to slow aging. Retrieved October 19, 2015, from USC News: https://news.usc.edu/82959/diet-that-mimics-fasting-appears-to-slow-aging/
Torgan, C. (2015, July 13). Health Effects of a Diet that Mimics Fasting. Retrieved October 19, 2015, from NIH RESEARCH MATTERS: http://www.nih.gov/researchmatters/july2015/07132015fasting.htm
Dear Hail-Fellows well met, “The Fat Bastard Gazette” is written and edited by your favorite curmudgeons Captain Hank Quinlan and
Staff (monkeys in the back room). We offer an ongoing tirade to support or offend anyone of any large dimension, cultural background, religious affiliation, or color of skin. This gazette rails against an eclectic mix of circus ring ne’er do wells, big ring fatty and fatso whiners, congenital idiots, the usual motley assortment of the profoundly dumbfounded, and a favorite of intelligent men everywhere, the
“Great Booboisie.” Nor shall we ignore the wide assortment of shirkers, layabouts, and slugabeds.
All this and more always keeping our major focus on “Why so fat?” Enough said? We at “The Fat Bastard Gazette” think so. If you like what you read, and you know whom you are, in this yellow blog, tell your friends. We would be elated with an ever-wider readership. We remain cordially yours, Captain Hank Quinlan and the Monkeys in the back room
“The Fat Bastard Gazette” does not purport to offer any definitive medical or pharmaceutical advice whatsoever in any explicit or implied manner. Always consult a qualified physician in all medical or pharmaceutical matters. “The Fat Bastard Gazette” is only the opinion of informed nonprofessionals for the general edification and entertainment of the greater public.
No similarities to any existing names or characters are expressed or implied. We reserve the right to offend or support anybody, anything, or any sacred totem across the globe.