There’s some good news for people who worry about their weight gain and the potential risks to major diseases.
It may now be possible to lose weight and lower your exposure to risks of diseases without having to make any major changes to your meal patterns — except being on special diet for about a week once in a few months.
That’s the amazing experience 71 test adults who were put on a three cycles of low-calories, fast-like diet had. The research, which was conducted at the University Of South California Leonard Davis School Of Gerontology, also demonstrated other health benefits of this scientifically-designed fasting diet.
The special diet cut back the risk factors of cardiovascular diseases, including blood pressure and signs of inflammation. It also notably reduced fasting glucose and levels of IGF-1, hormone that impacts on body metabolism. In addition, it reduced waistlines and made the individuals lose weight in both trunk fat and total body fat, but not in muscle mass.
And there were even more pleasantly surprising results. According to the results of the health research published in Science Translational Medicine, the study participants showed signs of reduced risks for life-threatening and age-related ailments such as cancer, diabetes and heart diseases.
Professor Valter Longo, a biological scientist and director of the USC Longevity Institute said the study provides proof that periodic, fast-mimicking diets designed to slow down aging can as well have significant health benefits on people.
He added that previous researches have shown a number of health benefits on test mice, but the new study was the first time it a randomized clinical test will be carried out on a sufficient number of participants to give evidence that the diet is applicable, effective, and safe for humans.
The clinical trial was conducted on a total number of 100 participants, aged 20 to 70 and all generally healthy, between April 2013 and July 2015. The test participants were divided into two groups for the randomized trial.
The first group was told to continue to continue with their regular eating habits for three months; while the second group was placed on special, there month fast-mimicking diet.
The scientifically designed diet involved the participants taking meals that mimicked a water-only fast during a five day period inside the three months test period. They were allowed to eat between 750 and 1,100 calories daily, while the fast-like diet contained specific proportions of fats, protein and carbohydrate.
At the end of the three month test period, participants on the normal diet (the control group) were move to the special diet.
Also their systolic blood pressure, which gave normal reading at the start of the study, reduced by 4.5 mmHG; and their diastolic blood pressure decreased by 3.1 mmHg. Their IGF-1 levels also shrank to between 21.7 ng/mL and 46.2 ng/mL, a range which is associated with lower cancer risk.