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Wednesday, 18 April 2018

The proven way to reverse type 2 Diabetes

About six years ago, he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes – something not altogether surprising, considering that his father had the disease and eventually died from its complications at the age of 72.

APRIL 18, 2018

The following extract is taken from:

‘Self experimenter’ Dr Michael Mosley tests on himself in the name of science

Trust Me, I’m A Doctor premiered in Asia Monday at 10.50pm on BBC Earth (Unifi channel 501) and online at www.bbcplayer.com.

Diet For Diabetes

In over three decades that he’s been at the BBC, Dr Mosley has produced, directed and presented dozens of TV series, episodes and documentaries on various science and health topics. He is probably best known for popularising the 5:2 diet.
About six years ago, he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes – something not altogether surprising, considering that his father had the disease and eventually died from its complications at the age of 72.
His doctor naturally wanted to start him on diabetes medication, but Dr Mosley wanted to see if there was something else he could try, as he knew that the drugs would be a lifelong commitment.
He explains: “The reason you develop type 2 diabetes in most cases, is because you have too much fat in your liver and in your pancreas, not talking to each other. And the best way to get the fat out is through rapid weight loss, and you can effectively reverse your diabetes in as little as eight weeks.”
After doing his research and speaking to various experts, Dr Mosley came up with the 5:2 diet, where you eat only around 700-800 calories for two days in a week, but normally for the remaining five.
He shares that, to his surprise: “I lost 10 kilos, which was about 15% of my body weight at that time, and my blood sugars went back to normal, where they have stayed.
“If you had spoken to me before that, I would have told you that fasting was good for religious people. That was because I didn’t know about all the scientific research, which had been going on for 20 years.”
His self-experiment with this diet, also known as intermittent fasting, was documented in the 2012 Horizon episode Eat, Fast And Live Longer. He also wrote The Fast Diet with Mimi Spencer.
Later, Dr Mosley refined the diet to become the eight-week blood sugar diet, which is specifically tailored to reverse diabetes and written about in his eponymous 2015 book.
“With the eight-week blood sugar diet, you are eating 800 calories seven days a week – it’s a much faster weight-loss diet. Particularly if you want to reverse type 2 diabetes, it is a good idea to do it rapidly,” he says.
He adds that UK-based studies have shown that those on this diet usually lose an average of 14kg after eight weeks, with 85% of those diagnosed with type 2 diabetes for less than five years managing to reverse their condition. For those who have had diabetes for more than five years, the reversal rate is about 50%.
http://healthticket.blogspot.my/2018/04/self-experimenter-dr-michael-mosley.html

Claims about the benefits of coconut oil - Is it true?

... those consuming the coconut oil would have the worst effect on their cholesterol levels, thus increasing their heart disease risk. But, “To everyone’s surprise, coconut oil came out best,” says Dr Mosley.


APRIL 18, 2018
The following extract is taken from:

‘Self experimenter’ Dr Michael Mosley tests on himself in the name of science

‘Self experimenter’ Dr Michael Mosley tests on himself in the name of science
Testing whether certain health fads, trends or concepts really work is the basis of Dr Mosley’s work. This shot represents an episode of the Trust Me, I’m A Doctor series where they check out whether coconut oil is harmful or beneficial. — BBC


Exploring Good Science

“What I love about the science programmes I do for the BBC is that we go out there and test things, and we do it in a vigorous and proper way, and sometimes, it can be really surprising,” he shares.
The ideas and inspirations for his shows come from a few sources. “In programmes like Trust Me, I’m A Doctor, there is a big research team behind the scenes with scientific PhDs, and we are in close contact with a lot of experts as well. Our viewers also send in ideas,” he explains.
In fact, one of the upcoming episodes in their latest season – in which Dr Mosley is one of five regular presenters – will feature coconut oil as suggested by a viewer. “They had read some claims about the benefits of coconut oil, but their doctor had said it was terrible, so they wanted to know what was the evidence behind it,” he says.
So the show contacted University of Cambridge professors Dr Kay-Tee Khaw and Dr Nita Forouhi to help conduct a study with 94 healthy adults aged 50-75, who were divided into three groups that ate 50g of extra virgin olive oil, 50g of extra virgin coconut oil and 50g of unsalted butter respectively every day for four weeks.
The prediction was that those consuming the coconut oil would have the worst effect on their cholesterol levels, thus increasing their heart disease risk. But, “To everyone’s surprise, coconut oil came out best,” says Dr Mosley.
“It raised the LDL levels, the bad cholesterol, a bit; also, it raised the HDL levels, the good cholesterol, more. In terms of heart disease risk, it appeared to lower it. And it was also the only one of the oils that lead to a reduction in what they call inflammatory factors, which plays an important part in heart disease.”
The study was significant enough to be published in the journal BMJ Open on Mac 6. Dr Mosley himself also throws in ideas that he finds interesting.

Source: https://www.star2.com/health/2018/04/18/he-self-experiments-in-the-name-of-science/

‘Self experimenter’ Dr Michael Mosley tests on himself in the name of science

Would you trust a man who infects himself with tapeworms in the name of science? It sounds crazy, but science journalist and BBC TV presenter Dr Michael Mosley proudly proclaims himself a “Self Experimenter”, according to his Twitter account.
APRIL 18, 2018
‘Self experimenter’ Dr Michael Mosley tests on himself in the name of science
Testing whether certain health fads, trends or concepts really work is the basis of Dr Mosley’s work. This shot represents an episode of the Trust Me, I’m A Doctor series where they check out whether coconut oil is harmful or beneficial. — BBC
Speaking to Star2.com on the phone from Taiwan, he says that there are “lots of programmes I do things to myself to test out ideas and claims”, freely admitting that “I think it is partly because it makes better television, and partly because I’m also genuinely interested in finding out about this stuff”.
No surprise that he was inspired by Australian gastroenterologist and Nobel Prize laureate for medicine Prof Dr Barry Marshall, the original modern day self-experimenter who famously downed a broth filled with Helicobacter pylori bacteria in a bid to prove that the microorganism caused gastritis and peptic ulcers.
This was in 1984. Ten years later, Dr Mosley directed a Horizon episode on the work of Prof Marshall and his colleague, pathologist Prof Dr Robin Warren, which was still not widely accepted though it had proven that H. pylori did cause gastritis and peptic ulcers.
The documentary received tremendous response from viewers, including thousands of letters seeking help to treat their gastritis and ulcers (easily curable by a course of antibiotics that kills off the H. pylori). It also triggered an interest that led to Dr Mosley eventually becoming a presenter.
“At that time, I was a director – so I was behind the camera – and I started reading up all about the history of medicine and discovered that it is full of people who experimented on themselves. (For example) anaesthetics was discovered by people snorting and sniffing everything they could lay their hands on.
“And so I proposed a series that was all about the history of medicine told from the lives of self-experimenters. I pitched that idea for 20 years, until eventually, one of the commissioners at the BBC said they wanted it and they wanted me to present it – that’s how I became a presenter,” he shares.
It was, as he described, “his third career within the BBC”, having previously been an executive producer as well. Coincidentally, working with the BBC is actually indeed his third career.
Coming from a family that tended either towards banking or religious service – his maternal grandfather was a bishop of Hong Kong and his paternal family were bankers and traders in the East – a career in the media was certainly not on his radar.
In fact, after studying philosophy, politics and economics at University of Oxford, Dr Mosley followed the family tradition and went into banking. But after two years in the finance industry, he decided to make the leap into medicine.
“I was very interested in what makes people tick, what makes them behave the way they do – psychiatry is what I would have done,” he shares.
However, after qualifying as a doctor, the long hours got to him and he decided that he would take a break, and work for the BBC as a trainee assistant producer for a couple of years before going back to medicine. “That was 32 years ago, so I’m probably not going back,” he says wryly.

Diet For Diabetes

In over three decades that he’s been at the BBC, Dr Mosley has produced, directed and presented dozens of TV series, episodes and documentaries on various science and health topics. He is probably best known for popularising the 5:2 diet.
About six years ago, he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes – something not altogether surprising, considering that his father had the disease and eventually died from its complications at the age of 72.
His doctor naturally wanted to start him on diabetes medication, but Dr Mosley wanted to see if there was something else he could try, as he knew that the drugs would be a lifelong commitment.
He explains: “The reason you develop type 2 diabetes in most cases, is because you have too much fat in your liver and in your pancreas, not talking to each other. And the best way to get the fat out is through rapid weight loss, and you can effectively reverse your diabetes in as little as eight weeks.”
After doing his research and speaking to various experts, Dr Mosley came up with the 5:2 diet, where you eat only around 700-800 calories for two days in a week, but normally for the remaining five.
He shares that, to his surprise: “I lost 10 kilos, which was about 15% of my body weight at that time, and my blood sugars went back to normal, where they have stayed.
“If you had spoken to me before that, I would have told you that fasting was good for religious people. That was because I didn’t know about all the scientific research, which had been going on for 20 years.”
His self-experiment with this diet, also known as intermittent fasting, was documented in the 2012 Horizon episode Eat, Fast And Live Longer. He also wrote The Fast Diet with Mimi Spencer.
Later, Dr Mosley refined the diet to become the eight-week blood sugar diet, which is specifically tailored to reverse diabetes and written about in his eponymous 2015 book.
“With the eight-week blood sugar diet, you are eating 800 calories seven days a week – it’s a much faster weight-loss diet. Particularly if you want to reverse type 2 diabetes, it is a good idea to do it rapidly,” he says.
He adds that UK-based studies have shown that those on this diet usually lose an average of 14kg after eight weeks, with 85% of those diagnosed with type 2 diabetes for less than five years managing to reverse their condition. For those who have had diabetes for more than five years, the reversal rate is about 50%.

Exploring Good Science

“What I love about the science programmes I do for the BBC is that we go out there and test things, and we do it in a vigorous and proper way, and sometimes, it can be really surprising,” he shares.
The ideas and inspirations for his shows come from a few sources. “In programmes like Trust Me, I’m A Doctor, there is a big research team behind the scenes with scientific PhDs, and we are in close contact with a lot of experts as well. Our viewers also send in ideas,” he explains.
In fact, one of the upcoming episodes in their latest season – in which Dr Mosley is one of five regular presenters – will feature coconut oil as suggested by a viewer. “They had read some claims about the benefits of coconut oil, but their doctor had said it was terrible, so they wanted to know what was the evidence behind it,” he says.
So the show contacted University of Cambridge professors Dr Kay-Tee Khaw and Dr Nita Forouhi to help conduct a study with 94 healthy adults aged 50-75, who were divided into three groups that ate 50g of extra virgin olive oil, 50g of extra virgin coconut oil and 50g of unsalted butter respectively every day for four weeks.
The prediction was that those consuming the coconut oil would have the worst effect on their cholesterol levels, thus increasing their heart disease risk. But, “To everyone’s surprise, coconut oil came out best,” says Dr Mosley.
“It raised the LDL levels, the bad cholesterol, a bit; also, it raised the HDL levels, the good cholesterol, more. In terms of heart disease risk, it appeared to lower it. And it was also the only one of the oils that lead to a reduction in what they call inflammatory factors, which plays an important part in heart disease.”
The study was significant enough to be published in the journal BMJ Open on Mac 6. Dr Mosley himself also throws in ideas that he finds interesting.
“Sometimes, I read things in the newspaper, and I think, is that really true? Then you start to investigate it. And many things you might think are a bit nonsense have a lot of science behind them.”
One of these, for him, was high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
“When I first heard that you could get many of the benefits of exercise from three-minutes-a-week of intense exercise, I thought that has to be nonsense. But it is true,” he says, adding that he has now incorporated the exercise into his life.
Not only did he try out HIIT on himself, but University of Nottingham researchers Dr Beth Phillips and Dr James Blackwell were also recruited to conduct a small study comparing different types of exercise – including HIIT – to see which was the most effective over a period of one month, for the fifth series of Trust Me, I’m A Doctor.
True enough, for the short period of the experiment, the two groups that did HIIT had the most improved fitness levels. Says Dr Mosley: “There’s a big body of scientific knowledge out there that needs to be more widespread, and that’s kind of one of the things we do on Trust Me, I’m A Doctor, which I’m very proud of.”
He adds that all their work is always double-checked by experts to ensure that it is based in good science. “BBC is very vigorous – journalism is very important, so we have to be able to support any claims we make, we have to be able to point to good, strong, robust evidence to back up what we say.”
Oh, and the reason he infected himself with tapeworms? That was to test the theory that these infestations somehow decrease allergies, and true enough, his hay fever episodes did decrease, as can been seen on his show Infested With Michael Mosley.
He recommends increasing our intake of fermented food for the same effect though, rather than ingesting tapeworms.
Trust Me, I’m A Doctor premiered in Asia Monday at 10.50pm on BBC Earth (Unifi channel 501) and online at www.bbcplayer.com.

Read more at https://www.star2.com/health/2018/04/18/he-self-experiments-in-the-name-of-science/

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Tips and advice on the best way to eliminate insomnia

What is the best way to eliminate insomnia? Although sleep medications may be useful when you have occasional trouble sleeping, they aren’t meant for long-term use.
Tips and advice on the best way to eliminate insomnia
Minimise the amount of time you spend in bed awake in order to teach your brain
to associate your bed with sleep.

A better approach is to change your behaviours to cultivate quality sleep. An evaluation with your healthcare provider to check for underlying issues that could be negatively affecting your sleep could also be valuable.
Insomnia is defined as having problems getting to sleep or staying asleep three nights a week or more for at least three months. When dealing with insomnia, it’s important to rule out medical issues that could be driving it.
For example, restless leg syndrome and sleep apnoea are two common problems that can lead to insomnia.
Some medications can also cause sleep problems. See your healthcare provider to review any medications you take, and investigate whether a medical condition could be contributing to your sleeplessness.
If an evaluation doesn’t reveal an underlying cause of insomnia, you may benefit from behavioural changes. These changes get your brain to associate your bed and night-time with sleep.
First, establish a bedtime routine. For example, about 30 to 60 minutes before you go to bed, turn the lights low. Turn off the TV and other electronic devices. Brush your teeth and wash your face. Change into pajamas and get into bed. A consistent routine each night gives your brain clear signals that sleep is coming.
Second, reduce the amount of wakeful time you spend in bed. If you get into bed and don’t fall asleep within 15 to 20 minutes, get up and go to another room.
Keep your surroundings quiet and dimly lit. Don’t turn on the TV or other electronic devices. That will wake up your brain, rather than getting it ready for sleep. Instead, do some light reading, listen to quiet music or engage in relaxation techniques. Perform these activities sitting up, rather than lying down.
When your eyes get heavy and your head starts to bob, get back into bed. Don’t go back to bed when you’re just feeling tired. Wait until you’re sleepy. If you can’t sleep once you get into bed, or if you wake up again and cannot fall back to sleep within 15 to 20 minutes, repeat the cycle.
By minimising the amount of time you spend in bed awake, you’re teaching your brain to associate your bed with sleep.
Sometimes, people think it’s a good idea to be in bed at night – even if they are not sleeping – because they are getting some rest. But that conditions your brain to associate being in bed at night with being awake – the opposite of what you want.
Another way to condition your brain to associate your bed with sleep is to avoid other activities in your bedroom. Don’t read, watch TV or spend much time in your bedroom during the day.
When your alarm goes off, get up, start your morning routine and get out of the bedroom as soon as possible. Do this even when you haven’t slept well. Dozing in bed between snooze alarms won’t provide quality sleep, and it reinforces poor sleep patterns.
Also, pay attention to other health habits. Sometimes when you are not sleeping well and feel tired the next day, you’ll increase your caffeine intake. While this may help you during the day, it can complicate sleep at night.
Work to reduce or eliminate caffeine in your diet. If you continue to use caffeine, consider gradually reducing the amount over time or try switching to half-caffeinated beverages. It is also a good rule of thumb not to consume caffeinated drinks after 3pm, or six to eight hours before bedtime.
Finally, don’t rely on sleep medication to cure insomnia. Prescription and non-prescription sleep medications are only intended for occasional, short-term use – typically no longer than four to five weeks at the most. Over longer periods of time, these medications can contribute to sleep problems and lower the quality of your sleep.
If you continue to have insomnia after trying behaviour modification for several weeks, talk to your healthcare provider or consider consulting with a healthcare provider who specialises in sleep disorders. – Mayo Clinic News Network/Tribune News Service

Read more at https://www.star2.com/health/2018/04/17/what-to-do-when-you-cant-sleep

Monday, 16 April 2018

Massive 200 Million Egg Recall for Salmonella Includes Walmart, Waffle House

More than 200 million eggs have been recalled this weekend over fears of salmonella from eggs produced by Rose Acre Farms of Seymour, Indiana.




Eggs
Eggs
According to a statement from the FDA, Rose Acre Farms is recalling the eggs after officials traced multiple illnesses back to eggs produced at the company’s facility in North Carolina. 22 people have reportedly been sickened with salmonella, but nobody has reportedly died.

Affected eggs were sold under multiple brand names, including Country Daybreak, Coburn Farms, Crystal Farms, Sunshine Farms, and Glenview. Eggs affected by the recall were sold to grocery stores and restaurants in Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. Some the eggs were sold at Walmart and in Food Lion grocery stores, and some of the eggs were reportedly sold to Waffle House. Click here to see a full list of eggs affected by the recall.

Anybody in possession of affected eggs should not eat them, and should throw them away or return them for a refund.

In healthy adults, salmonella can cause fever, diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal pain, but salmonella infections can be fatal in young children or elderly people, or in people with weakened immune systems. Salmonella contamination can be a concern in many foods from dog food to fresh herbs, and it’s been the source of some of the biggest food recalls.

http://www.msn.com/en-my/foodanddrink/foodnews/massive-200-million-egg-recall-for-salmonella-includes-walmart-waffle-house/

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Losing weight for no apparent reason?

A new UK meta-analysis has found that unintended weight loss is the second highest risk factor for certain cancers, including colorectal, lung, pancreatic and renal.
Losing weight for no apparent reason? Beware of cancer
New research has found that weight loss is a strong predictor of cancer and recommends that health professionals act quickly, especially when weight loss is presented with other symptoms.

Led by the Universities of Oxford and Exeter, the research is the first robust analysis to examine all available evidence to look at an association between weight loss and cancer.
For the analysis the research looked at 25 studies, which together included data from more than 11.5 million patients.
The team found that unintended weight loss was linked with 10 types of cancer: colorectal, pancreatic, gastro-oesophageal, ovarian, lung, renal tract, myeloma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, biliary tree, and prostate.
The risk of developing cancer was also stronger when weight loss occurred with other symptoms, such as rectal bleeding in colorectal cancer, and with increasing age.
Co-author Professor Willie Hamilton commented on the findings saying, “We’ve always known that unplanned weight loss may represent cancer. This study pulls together all the published evidence and demonstrates beyond doubt that it is important in efforts to save lives from cancer.”
Lead author Dr Brian Nicholson, added, “Streamlined services that allow GPs to investigate non-specific symptoms like weight loss are vitally important and urgently needed if we are to catch cancer earlier and save lives.
“Our research indicates that coordinated investigation across multiple body sites could help to speed up cancer diagnosis in patients with weight loss. We now need to continue our research to understand the most appropriate combination of tests and to give guidance on how much weight loss GPs and patients should worry about.”
The results can be found published online in the British Journal of General Practice. – AFP Relaxnews

Read more at https://www.star2.com/health/2018/04/14/unintended-weight-loss-important-predictor-cancer

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

A cheap and easy blood test could catch cancer early

50,000 healthy people will be screened in an effort to detect hidden tumors.

A robot processes patient blood samples for evaluation with the CancerSEEK test.
Fred Dubs, Johns Hopkins Medical Pathology Photograph


by Emily Mullin
January 18, 2018
 
A simple-to-take test that tells if you have a tumor lurking, and even where it is in your body, is a lot closer to reality—and may cost only $500.  


The new test, developed at Johns Hopkins University, looks for signs of eight common types of cancer. It requires only a blood sample and may prove inexpensive enough for doctors to give during a routine physical.


“The idea is this test would make its way into the public and we could set up screening centers,” says Nickolas Papadopoulos, one of the Johns Hopkins researchers behind the test. “That’s why it has to be cheap and noninvasive.”


Although the test isn’t commercially available yet, it will be used to screen 50,000 retirement-age women with no history of cancer as part of a $50 million, five-year study with the Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania, a spokesperson with the insurer said.


The test, detailed today in the journal Science, could be a major advance for “liquid biopsy” technology, which aims to detect cancer in the blood before a person feels sick or notices a lump.


That’s useful because early-stage cancer that hasn’t spread can often be cured.


Companies have been pouring money into developing liquid biopsies. One startup, Grail Bio, has raised over $1 billion in pursuit of a single blood test for many cancers.
 
 For their test, Hopkins researchers looked at blood from 1,005 people with previously diagnosed ovarian, liver, stomach, pancreatic, esophageal, colorectal, lung, or breast cancer.

Their test searches for a combination of eight cancer proteins as well as 16 cancer-related genetic mutations.


The test was best at finding ovarian cancer, which it detected up to 98 percent of the time. It correctly identified a third of breast cancer cases and about 70 percent of people with pancreatic cancer, which has a particularly grim outlook.


The chance of a false alarm was low: only seven of 812 apparently healthy people turned up positive on the test.


The researchers also trained a machine-learning algorithm to determine the location of a person’s tumor from the blood clues. The algorithm guessed right 83 percent of the time.


“I think we will eventually get to a point where we can detect cancer before it’s otherwise visible,” says Len Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society.


He cautions that screening tests can sometimes harm rather than help. That can happen if they set off too many false alarms or if doctors end up treating slow-growing cancers that are not likely to do much harm.

 

Monday, 26 March 2018

Fasting Regenerates Your Pancreas

Fasting has been shown to help your pancreas regenerate itself, whereas calorie-restriction significantly reduces levels of a mutant protein known to play a role in Huntington's disease. Cycling between fasting and feasting is a great antidote to chronic disease.

fasting

March 19, 2018

Story at-a-glance

  • Research involving lab mice shows a fasting-mimicking diet not only can help your pancreas regenerate itself, but it can also reverse diabetes symptoms
  • Other animal studies suggest restricting calories to a six-hour window can significantly reduce levels of a particular mutant protein known to play a role in Huntington's disease
  • Fasting has been shown to be beneficial in lowering your risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes; it also boosts your body’s immune system and antiaging potential
  • Three fasting methods I encourage you to consider are: the fasting-mimicking diet, intermittent fasting or water-only fasting
  • I personally have experienced great results with both intermittent fasting and water-only fasting, and I believe fasting is one of the best tools you can use in the fight against chronic disease
By Dr. Mercola
Fasting is a powerful tool nearly anyone can use to take control of their health. Animal research indicates a fasting-mimicking diet not only can help your pancreas regenerate itself, but it can also reverse diabetes symptoms. In another study, also involving lab mice, restricting daily calories to a six-hour window significantly reduced levels of a particular mutant protein known to play a role in Huntington's disease.
Given these results, as well as other research, the tremendous benefits of fasting continue to emerge. If you haven't yet considered how fasting can make a positive difference to your health, I encourage you to keep reading and also consider one of three methods: the fasting-mimicking diet, intermittent fasting or water-only fasting. Fasting is one of the best tools you can use in the fight against chronic disease.

Fasting-Mimicking Regenerates Pancreas, Eliminates Diabetes in Lab Mice

In a study published in the journal Cell,1 a group of U.S. researchers, most of whom were affiliated with the University of Southern California (USC), suggest your pancreas may be able to regenerate itself through a fasting-mimicking diet.
In animal experiments, the scientists, led by Valter Longo, Ph.D., professor of gerontology and biological sciences and director of the USC Longevity Institute, were able to restore pancreatic function using a modified version of the fasting-mimicking diet. This diet is characterized by periods of feast and famine.
Longo notes the diet promoted the "generation of insulin-producing beta cells, resembling that observed during pancreatic development."2 (Beta cells detect sugar in your blood and release insulin if blood sugar levels get too high.) Given its restorative effects on the pancreas, the fasting-mimicking diet also reversed diabetes symptoms in lab mice.
Said Longo, "Our conclusion is by pushing the mice into an extreme state and then bringing them back — by starving them and then feeding them again —the cells in the pancreas are triggered to use some kind of developmental reprogramming that rebuilds the part of the organ that's no longer functioning."3 The experiments reflected noticeable benefits for mice with diabetes: Fasting-mimicking diet cycles restored insulin secretion and glucose homeostasis in both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes mouse models. Longo stated:4
"Medically, these findings have the potential to be very important because we've shown — at least in mouse models — that you can use diet to reverse the symptoms of diabetes. Scientifically, the findings are perhaps even more important because we've shown you can use diet to reprogram cells without having to make any genetic alterations."

How Does the Fasting-Mimicking Approach Work?

Unlike traditional fasting centered on abstinence from all food for a period of time, a fasting-mimicking diet allows you to consume a greatly reduced number of calories, usually for a five-day period, in a way that allows you to realize some of the same therapeutic benefits of traditional foodless fasting.
Longo's fasting-mimicking diet involves restricting your calories to 800 to 1,100 calories per day for five days each month. This approach greatly improves compliance, as many would find a five-day water-only fast to be too difficult. The low-calorie strategy provides many benefits while also reducing your likelihood of suffering adverse side effects.
The five days of calorie restriction come in the form of choosing foods low in carbohydrates, low in protein and high in healthy fats. The rest of the month, you are free to eat whatever you want. The goal is to mimic periods of feast and famine. While all of this sounds simple, Longo is quick to suggest the diet is best undertaken with medical guidance. "It boils down to: Do not try this at home." Longo says, "This [diet] is so much more sophisticated than people realize."5

Calorie Restriction Also Shows Promise for Huntington's Disease

New research by Canadian scientists, published in the journal Acta Neuropathologica Communications,6 indicates restricting food intake to a specific daily time period could benefit sufferers of Huntington's disease. More than 30,000 Americans are affected by this progressive neurological condition, which typically appears between the ages of 30 and 50.7
Symptoms of Huntington's include cognitive impairment, involuntary movements (chorea) and mobility problems. Most conventional approaches involve taking drugs such as tetrabenazine to manage symptoms like chorea. Using lab mice, the researchers found that limiting calorie intake to the same daily six-hour period improved mouse models of Huntington's disease.8
Specifically, this strict eating schedule, which involved fasting for the remaining 18 hours a day, resulted in significant reductions in the levels of a particular mutant protein that plays a role in Huntington's disease. The disease is caused by an inherited mutation in the huntingtin (HTT) gene known to pass from parent to child. The mutant form of HTT is referred to as mHTT; it is thought to work with other bodily proteins to accelerate progression of the disease.
The study revealed food restriction triggered a process in the mice called autophagy — a cell self-cleaning process known to remove damaged or unnecessary components. Researchers noticed fasting-induced autophagy reduced levels of mHTT in the rodents' brains.9About the research, lead study author Dagmar Ehrnhoefer, Ph.D., principal investigator at BioMed X Innovation Center in Heidelberg, Germany, stated:10
"We know specific aspects of autophagy don't work properly in patients with Huntington's disease. Our findings suggest, at least in mice, when you fast, or eat at certain very regulated times without snacking in between meals, your body starts to increase an alternative, still functional, autophagy mechanism, which could help lower levels of the mutant huntingtin protein in the brain."
Study coauthor Dale Martin, Ph.D., assistant professor, department of biology, Waterloo University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, said, "More studies are needed, but perhaps something as simple as a modified dietary schedule could provide some benefit for [Huntington's disease] patients and could be complementary to some treatments currently in clinical trials."11

Multiday Water Fasting Is Another Great Metabolic Intervention

After some initial hesitations, I am now embracing multiday water fasting as one of the best metabolic interventions available. I say that because this type of fasting switches your cells to a protected "antiaging mode." It also promotes autophagy, the cell self-cleaning process mentioned earlier, thanks to the activation of stem cells.
I have completed several five-day water-only fasts in recent months and highly recommend this as a regular practice. Assuming you are properly prepared, if you are dealing with insulin resistance, I believe you could benefit from monthly water-only fasts. Provided you're not anorexic, old and frail, pregnant or dealing with a serious health issue, fasting for three to seven days will likely be beneficial; a short fast certainly won't kill you, nor will it cause significant muscle loss. With respect to water-only fasts, ABC Science states:12
"After two or three days of fasting, you get your energy from two different sources simultaneously. A very small part of your energy comes from breaking down your muscles — but you can avoid this by doing some resistance training … The majority of your energy comes from breaking down fat.
But very soon, you move into getting all your energy from the breakdown of fat. The fat molecules break down into two separate chemicals — glycerol (which can be converted into glucose) and free fatty acids (which can be converted into other chemicals called ketones). Your body, including your brain, can run on this glucose and ketones until you finally run out of fat.
In humans, fasting seems to have health benefits for high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma and epilepsy in children. In animals, fasting seems to reduce the cognitive decline that happens in conditions such as Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease."
You may find that starting with intermittent fasting first can prepare your body (and your mind) for a water-only fast. Simply by lengthening the number of hours you go without food can condition your body for completely foodless days. My habit of intermittently fasting 20 hours a day definitely made water-only fasting easier for me. Even if you intermittently fast short of 20 hours, you will be helping your body begin using fat for fuel.
I recommend you take a high-quality multimineral supplement any time you do a water-only fast, and you should continue taking your regular nutritional supplements, too. If you supplement with magnesium, be aware it may cause severely loose stools during foodless fasts. You also need to consume high-quality salt.

Health Benefits of a Fasting-Mimicking Style of Eating

In his book "The Longevity Diet: Discover the New Science Behind Stem Cell Activation and Regeneration to Slow Aging, Fight Disease and Optimize Weight," Longo suggests the fasting-mimicking protocol supports your overall health and well-being because it helps you maintain healthy levels of:
  • C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation
  • Fasting glucose
  • Insulin-like growth factor 1, a marker associated with increased mortality and DNA damage
  • Stem cells and regenerative markers
Beyond that, according to Longo, the fasting-mimicking diet both protects and rejuvenates your body by going after multiple body systems and causing regeneration and improved performance in those systems. Among the health benefits, Longo says the fasting-mimicking diet:
  • Reduces cancers by nearly 50 percent
  • Delays cancer onset and results in more benign tumors than malignant ones
  • Improves your cognition and markers for aging
  • Strengthens your immune system, which is transformed to a more youthful state
  • Lowers risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes

Fasting-Mimicking Boosts the Effectiveness of Treatment for Malignant Disease

Given his years of research and experience, Longo strongly recommends actively incorporating the fasting-mimicking diet with cancer treatment. Not only will it radically improve the effectiveness of your cancer therapy, he says, but it will also decrease some of the unpleasant side effects. Longo states:
"This has been a difficult battle. We work with the top oncology hospitals in the world: MD Anderson, Mayo Clinic [and] USC Norris Cancer Center … we really didn't want to be the rebels …  We fought very hard, but also, we wanted them to agree with us. We wanted the oncologists to basically say, 'Yes. This [diet] is a good way to do it.'
The safety concerns … are really minimal and the potential benefits are very high … In mice, we consistently see cancer-free survival even in the metastatic models."
Longo believes fasting-mimicking diets are particularly beneficial in cases of more advanced cancers that have metastasized, leaving the patient with very few options. In those instances, he has encouraged oncologists to seriously consider integrating the fasting-mimicking diet with standard cancer care. To date, Longo and his team have demonstrated the effectiveness of the fasting-mimicking diet for kinase inhibitors, chemotherapy and all kinds of cancers.
He says hundreds of clinical trials are underway that involve the fasting-mimicking diet, and new data comes in regularly about new therapies. One of the new therapies, Longo suggests, is immunotherapy. It makes cancer visible to your immune system so it can be attacked by your immune system.
Whatever your situation with respect to cancer treatment, Longo recommends you bring the fasting-mimicking diet to the attention of your oncologist. For starters, you might suggest he or she "at least … read the clinical trials that are already published," said Longo. He adds, "I think it's important to talk to [cancer] patients about this [diet], and give them an opportunity, particularly where they don't have any other viable options."

Important Cautions About Fasting

Certain health conditions require more stringent medical supervision to ensure the safety of fasting. Regardless of your health, be sure to talk to your doctor before undertaking any fasting program. If you have a chronic disease, your doctor will need to closely monitor your condition and any potential complications related to fasting. I advise you avoid, or at least cautiously evaluate, fasting if you are:
Anorexic or seriously underweight
Pregnant or breastfeeding
Fragile or in ill health
Taking medication, especially if it must be taken with food
Have liver or kidney disease
Taking an antihypertensive or hypoglycemic medication, due to the risk of overdosing
More than 70 years of age, unless you're exceptionally healthy

Cycling Is Vital for Success With the Fasting-Mimicking Protocol

If you are in good physical health, you may be able to realize benefits from adopting a fasting-mimicking diet for five days every 90 days. However, if you are facing health challenges such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol or obesity, you may have more success by cycling on and off the diet monthly, at least until you see improvement in your health.
Longo underscores the need for some form of cycling on and off the diet because the cycling is vitally important to your success. The episodic fasting and refeeding is one of the keys that unlocks the many benefits of this diet. Notably, cycling also helps circumvent the negative effects associated with continuous fasting or chronic underfeeding.
If the information presented in this article has stimulated your thinking about fasting, you may be ready to take your diet to the next level. The potential benefits of fasting make each type of intervention worth checking out, mainly because your body was designed to: 1) run on fat as its primary fuel and 2) cycle through periods of feast and famine. As a means of taking control of your health, I encourage you — under the guidance of your doctor — to seriously consider one or more of the following types of fasting:
Since many who are interested in fasting also may be sensitive to lectins, you might want to read my article How Fasting and Minimizing Lectins Can Benefit Your Health.
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2018/03/19/fasting-regenerates-pancreas.aspx