Live longer and healthier
The concept of "Live longer and healthier", which nowadays, given the increased risk of pathologies, seems to be unachievable, is based on the always more certain conviction that nutrition contributes to its realization.
Science has certainly improved qualitatively human life, both through the introduction of new technologies, in the fields of biology and medicine.
Is it possible to live longer and healthier through nutrition? Professor Mirisola explains how!
Professor Mario Mirisola, an illustrious professor of biology and genetics at the University of Palermo, has deepened his studies on the genetics of longevity. Thanks to his many skills, he actively participated in the research project of Professor Valter Longo and collaborated in what is now known as the Fasting Mimicking Diet (FMD).
Professor Mirisola can you tell us when and how did you start working with Valter Longo?
"I met Longo in 2007 after winning a Fulbright grant from the US State Department. During my career, I have always shown interest and curiosity for all these factors that can affect lifespan. It is surprising to discover how a caloric restriction (CR) and an appropriate lifestyle can be the main promoter of longevity and thus contribute to "living longer and healthier". I therefore considered his laboratory as one of the most promising in the field of longevity research”.
Today, it seems that the thesis that our health is somehow related to food is always more confirmed. So, is it wise to talk about food that help us "live longer and healthier?"
"Absolutely! Hippocrates had already imagined that if we gave to the sick food they needed, we would be able to cure all diseases. The idea that there is a close correlation between our state of health and a correct diet is not new. Recently, however, many of the details that have found out have allowed us to study more thoroughly the metabolic pathways that are activated and extinct in our bodies by individual nutrients (molecular nutrition). This discovery could therefore allow us to live longer and in better health”.
So, could the correction of our eating habits help us prevent chronic non-transmissible diseases?
"Yes, for example, certain conditions increase the risk of developing chronic degenerative diseases such as hypercholesterolemia or insulin resistance. These conditions are strongly associated with the development of different types of pathologies (cardiovascular, tumours, diabetes), which can be corrected and reduced very efficiently by regulating nutrition ".
Professor, as mentioned earlier, you have contributed to the research project on the Fasting Mimicking Diet ... We would like to have your opinion:
"The FMD is extremely effective, the improvements obtained are surprising, both in the general population and in patients suffering from many pathologies. Blood glucose, cholesterol, blood pressure and body mass index decrease in all subjects, but especially in those who particularly have high values”.
As an expert in medical genetics, what results have been highlighted?
"From the molecular point of view, there is a hormonal reorganization with the decrease of a key hormone that promotes the mechanisms of aging, IGF-1. We also know that there is an important response to the Fasting Mimicking Diet, not only coming from the immune system but also from the stem cells, which brings about a kind of tissue regeneration. Scientific research shows that, thanks to nutrition, the concept of living longer and healthier could be achievable. "
You followed and guided many people through this trip. It would be interesting to know the results of a pathology...
"During the 5 days provided by ProLon® Fasting Mimicking Diet, I monitored the values of different patients with important conditions such as cancer. What I could find in these subjects was a more positive response to chemotherapy treatments. Let me explain you: reactions to the toxicity of chemotherapy are additive that is to say, as the cycles go ahead, side effects increase; who had already done several cycles of chemotherapy had a higher toxicity. After the FMD, the inflammation and toxicity values have considerably reduced! Do you want to know what the most common comment was? "If only I had done it before."
Can FMD help treat some diseases?
"Clinical trials and research are still ongoing, but the results so far suggest that these, combined with traditional treatments, can bring benefits and allow us to live longer and healthier. I’d like to emphasize that not everyone can take part in the protocol, especially in the presence of pathologies, an authorization from your doctor/specialist is necessary and for some, it could be contraindicated ".
What is the perspective of the Fasting Mimicking Diet the in combination with the traditional therapies currently used for the treatment of pathologies?
"For tumours and other diseases such as multiple sclerosis, the results are very positive. Currently, we cannot draw definitive conclusion, the available figures are still low, but research keeps going on. Among the effects, there is also a decrease of the C-reactive protein, an indicator of the state of inflammation of our body. Improving these parameters suggests that FMD can be very effective in improving health or preventing chronic degenerative diseases. We expect this to have a major impact on health. We are currently starting a clinical trial on subjects with a high genetic risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer, so we hope to be able to say more about the effects of this nutritional approach in the coming months on preventing the onset of diseases ".
Professor, the number of people who go on diet with DIY methods is growing more and more! What is your opinion on this choice...?
"In general, it's not a good idea. During the different phases of the day, the distribution between macronutrients is important. In the ProLon® kit, the balance between macro and micronutrients, minerals and vitamins is the result of a scientific logic and thus guarantees its effectiveness. The kit greatly simplifies the task and makes it more reproducible, precisely because it is tested on a very large number of people.
What would you recommend?
"DIY fasting is not impossible, but not being experts in the field can lead to disasters in general, and may involve a deficiency for some substances, or too much for others. I therefore recommend that you always consult a nutritionist who knows the FMD argument and who does not improvise.
We conclude with three adjectives to describe the Fasting Mimicking Diet:
Article written by: Francesca Florenzo