Researchers discover five-day 'fasting' diet that could lower your chances of heart disease, cancer and diabetes

The diet mimics fasting and only has to be followed for five days a month

The diet mimics fasting, and only has to be followed for five days a month
The diet mimics fasting, and only has to be followed for five days a month

A simple five-day diet that mimics fasting can bring a host of health benefits, including cutting the risk of heart disease and cancer and boosting the immune system, American scientists believe.

A team at the University of Southern California has developed the diet, which they call the 'Fasting Mimicking Diet' (FMD), which only needs to be followed for five days a month for dieters to see the effects.

The plan restricts dieters' calorie intake to between one third and a half of normal intake, with the plan focusing heavily on vegetable soups and chamomile tea.

Professor Valter Longo, from the USC Davis School of Gerontology, said: "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."

The diet slashes the dieter's calorie intake to around 34 to 54 per cent of normal, with care taken to make sure that the dieter gets suitable amounts of protein, fat and carbohydrate in their diet.

However, the strict regime only lasts for five days, and for the rest of the month, dieters can eat what they like.

The study found that test subjects had decreased levels of the hormone IFG-I, which has been linked to aging and cancer susceptibility.

Within three months of following the diet - only 15 days of dieting in total - test subjects showed they had reduced biomarkers in their bodies linked to ageing, diabetes, cancer and heart disease. They also cut their overall body fat.

Professor Longo said that tests on mice showed that the diet essentially 'tricked' the body into ageing more slowly, while also rejuvenating stem cells.

Despite the seemingly positive effects of the diet, many health experts warn people way from 'trick' diets such as this, instead promoting long-term changes in lifestyle and diet that are considered more effective, and easier to stick to.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in