“It’s the skinny rats that live the longest,” I remember hearing a medical researcher saying to me in 2005 over dinner. But the tie between fasting and longevity really began to be understood in the mid-2010’s with the research of Valter Longo. Longo is the Director of the Longevity Institute at the University of Southern California and showed in a 2014 publication that yeast, worms, and mice have a substantially longer life span when forced to fast.
The benefits of fasting are something I’ve written about more extensively before here. These include the proliferation of stem cells after 3-5 days which can go to places in your body that need repair. Autophagy or the death of older or dysfunctional cells to make way for new ones. Mitophagy, similarly, is the death of older or dysfunctional mitochondria to make way for healthy mitochondria. And improved microbiome, as bad gut bacteria die off, to make way for a healthy, more diverse assortment.
The ProLon fasting mimicking diet is, as the name implies, a diet that tricks your body into thinking it is doing a water fast while eating specific foods. Following this diet results in the above benefits you receive from fasting while still taking in 800-1000 calories each day.
It is comprised of:
The exact way this diet allows for fasting mimicking is proprietary. However, since it is vegan, it is deficient in the amino acid methionine, which is likely part of it. Additionally, it has calorie restrictions of 1000 calories the first day, and 800 calories the other days. Lastly, the L-drink is vegetable glycerin, which you drink each day and is likely an important part of the “secret sauce.”
And there’s one more thing: the benefits of fasting reduce as you age. So, don’t wait! If you’re interested in doing the ProLon, it’s pricey, so look around on the internet for a coupon code.