Just a few days of 'fasting' diet slows down aging and may add years to life

 A five day diet which mimics fasting could slow down aging, add years to life, boost the immune system and cut the risk of heart disease and cancer, scientists believe.

 The plan which restricts calories to between one third and a half of normal intake has been developed by academics at the University of Southern California.

 Last year the same team discovered that fasting can regenerate the entire immune system, bringing a host of long-term health benefits.

 But now they have found that a calorie-restricted diet comprising of vegetable soups and chamomile tea has the same affect. And dieters only need to follow the Fasting Mimicking Diet (FMD) for five days a month, eating what they like for the rest of the time.

• A guide to fasting diets

 “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,' said Professor Valter Longo, USC Davis School of Gerontology and director of the USC Longevity Institute.

 “I've personally tried both, and the fasting mimicking diet is a lot easier and also a lot safer.

 “I think based on the markers for aging and disease in humans it has the potential to add a number of years of life but more importantly to have a major impact on diabetes, cancer, heart disease and other age-related disease.”

Day one of the diet comprises:   Continue reading

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