Can the Fasting Mimicking Diet Lower Your Biological Age? The Science Says Yes

It is no secret that various fasting programs show up in the news over and over. When I discuss diet with my patients, a large number of them skip breakfast and try and eat in a 6-8 hour window. Technically, this is not fasting but a form of "time restricted eating" or TRE. The overall science for restrictive TRE programs, like eating is not convincing and some studies have identified risks to skipping breakfast.

Another approach is the 5 day fasting mimicking diet or FMD developed by Valter Longo, Ph.D. and his colleagues. This program can be repeat several months in a row and only involves 5 consecutive days of the month. It is known as PROLON.

New data suggest that PROLON has important benefits in terms of liver health, immune function, and reversal of measures of aging. 


In mice, periodic cycles of the FMD protect normal cells while killing damaged cells including cancer and autoimmune cells, reduce inflammation, promote multi-system regeneration, and extend longevity.

This study performed an analysis of blood samples from a randomized clinical trial using 3 FMD cycles over 3 months in adult study participants. The findings included reduced insulin resistance and other pre-diabetes markers, lower hepatic fat (as determined by magnetic resonance imaging) and increased lymphoid to myeloid ratio: an indicator of immune system age.

Based on a validated measure of biological age predictive of morbidity and mortality, 3 FMD cycles were associated with a decrease of 2.5 years in median biological age, independent of weight loss.

 Together these results provide initial support for beneficial effects of the FMD on multiple cardiometabolic risk factors and biomarkers of biological age.


The senior author of the study and world renowned scientist Valter Longo, Ph.D commented on this research:

"This study shows for the first time evidence for biological age reduction from two different clinical trials, accompanied by evidence of rejuvenation of metabolic and immune function.

Although many doctors are already recommending the FMD in the United States and Europe, these findings should encourage many more to recommend FMD cycles to patients with higher than desired levels of disease risk factors as well as to the general population that may be interested in increased function and younger age."

Dr. Joel Kahn

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