Beyond the actual science, researcher Valter Longo's innovation in calorie restriction studies was to find a way to commercialize the undertaking of eating less, thereby pulling more money and attention into the field. With commercial backing comes the funding needed for larger, more rigorous trials and monitoring of outcomes. Moving beyond the earlier studies of human calorie restriction, such as CALERIE, researchers are now attempting to reliably quantify the degree to which one needs to eat less to achieve meaningful benefits: how little and how long. The suggestion resulting from the more recent studies is that intermittent periods of low calorie intake may capture a sizable portion of the benefits realized from fasting or full time calorie restriction. As always it is worth noting that there is nothing special about the product under discussion here; a fasting mimicking diet is easy enough to put together on your own given the calorie and nutrient targets.
A new study finds that providing the body with a temporary, specifically formulated fasting mimicking diet (FMD) called ProLon causes cellular changes normally generated by several days of consecutive water-only fasting and may increase health and lifespan by partially turning back the aging clock. After animal results showing that this FMD reduces incidence of cancer and inflammatory diseases and extends lifespan, researchers have now published the results of a 100-participant randomized Phase II clinical trial demonstrating that ProLon targets the aging process and reduces risk factors for age related diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease in humans. These effects are believed to be caused by an increase in stem cell number and regeneration.
Pre-clinical studies demonstrated that ProLon provides the body with the necessary macro and micronutrients while keeping it in a fasting mode and activates stem cell-based regeneration in multiple organs and systems. ProLon is perhaps the first success story in a new but rapidly developing nutri-technology field. The understanding of the molecular connections between specific food components and genes that regulate aging and regeneration allows food to be used to promote cellular changes that are safe but more coordinated than those caused by drugs.
Researchers tested the effects of three monthly ProLon cycles on metabolic markers and risk factors associated with aging and age-related diseases. Each ProLon cycle lasts five consecutive days and does not require alteration to lifestyle during the remaining days of the month. Findings in humans were consistent with mouse studies showing a spike in circulating stem cells and delay in biological aging by promoting regeneration in multiple systems. Body weight, BMI, total body fat, trunk fat, waist circumference, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, cholesterol, insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), and C-Reactive Protein (a marker of inflammation) were significantly reduced, particularly in participants at risk for diseases, while relative lean body mass (muscle and bone mass) was increased. Low levels of IGF-1 are associated with a lower risk of cancer and diabetes. No serious adverse effects were reported.