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Professor Alessandro Laviano from the Sapienza Department of Clinical Medicine participated in an international research project coordinated by Professor Valter Longo at the University of Southern California on the so-called "fast-mimicking diet" that induces positive metabolic effects on the aging process and the longevity of individuals.

Over the years, numerous studies on animals have demonstrated that calorie restriction and limited fasting can foster healthy aging and prolong survival. "In humans,” explains Alessandro Laviano, “these practices have been difficult to apply, especially in the long-term."

Now, for the first time, researchers were able to study the effects of this diet on 70 healthy subjects. The results were very satisfactory. In particular, the study revealed that following a 5-day low-calorie diet cycle, repeated 2 or 3 times a year, the positive, long-term effects on the metabolism are insured.

This diet, associated with a healthy and adequate food intake during the intervals between one cycle and another, reduces risk factors related to chronic degenerative diseases such as diabetes, dementia, ischemic heart disease and so on. The long-term health effects are positive not only for individuals, but also help reduce the costs of the national health system.

The research project was published in the February issue of Science Translational Medicine.