The Fasting Mimicking Diet was devised at the University of Southern California under Dr. Valter Longo. The aim of FMD is to enhance longevity and health. During the program you eat a high-fat, low-carb, calorie-restricted diet of healthy natural ingredients, mimicking fasting. This “tricks” your body into entering a fasting mode. The diet gives you the benefits of fasting while maintaining nutrition and avoiding the calorie deprivation associated with other forms of fasting. FMD causes the body to generate energy from non-carbohydrate sources after glycogen stores are depleted (gluconeogenesis). The fasting-mimicking diet may promote weight loss and reduce blood sugar, cholesterol levels, and inflammation. FMD may slow aging and reduce the risk of certain diseases by promoting the body’s ability to self-repair through cell regeneration(autophagy). Some studies have shown the potential for FMD to slow mental decline and reduce oxidative damage to brain tissue.
This review was written by Dr. Mark P. Mattson of the John Hopkins University School of Medicine and published in the 2014 Journal of Parkinson’s Disease. It examines whether lifestyle changes that increase insulin sensitivity such as increased exercise and intermittent energy restriction (intermittent fasting) could counteract neurodegenerative processes and improve functionality. Various studies on animal models seem to indicate that peripheral insulin resistance and midlife diabetes may increase the risk of PD. This review examines whether improved peripheral and brain energy metabolism, exercise, GLP-1 analogs, and intermittent energy restrictions (IER) could boost neuronal adaptive stress response pathways and ultimately enhance neurotrophic signaling, DNA repair, mitochondrial biogenesis, and proteostasis.
This 2019 report in the National Library of Medicine (National Center for Biotechnology Information) looks at lifestyles and dietary habits associated with PD. A fasting mimicking diet (FMD), fasting 3 days followed by 4 days of refeeding for three 1-week cycles, which accelerated the retention of motor function and attenuated the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra in 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrathydropyridine (MPTP)-induced PD mice. Levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), known to promote the survival of dopaminergic neurons, were increased in PD mice after FMD, suggesting the involvement of BDNF in FMD-mediated neuroprotection. The findings showed that FMD also inhibited neuroinflammation and modulated the shifts in gut microbiota composition.
In this Goop podcast chief content officer at Goop, Elise Loehnen talks to Valter Longo, author of the longevity diet, as part of a series on detox, nutrition, and resetting the body. Longo is also one of the world’s leading experts on fasting. During the interview, they tackle questions such as “Is intermittent fasting the key to health?” Longo proposes fasting as one of the elements that contribute to longevity and to a healthy life, avoiding the diseases that often plague the elderly. The podcast also addresses the research surrounding the connection between fasting and preventing autoimmune diseases and cancer as well as the idea of making fasting part of standard cancer treatment. Longo discusses clinical trials including seven clinical trials supporting FMD (Fasting Mimicking Diet).
A 2018 study published by the NIH looked at neuroprotection of the fasting mimicking diet (FMD) on MPTP-induced PD mice via gut microbiota and metabolites. During the study the mice were put on a diet of fasting 3 days followed by 4 days of refeeding for three 1-week cycles. This accelerated the retention of motor function and attenuated the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra in 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrathydropyridine (MPTP)-induced PD mice. The findings demonstrated that FMD can be a new means of preventing and treating PD through promoting a favorable gut microbiota composition and metabolites.
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