- Mindy is 40 but feels like she’s 50.
- She often feels achy, tired, struggles to lose weight and thinks she looks older than her age.
- She didn’t have excessive sun exposure or any genetic history that would explain her premature aging.
When I met Mindy, I noticed right away that she was not eating well and so this was my first clue that nutrients and healthy eating were going to be a big part of solving her health mystery but Mindy wanted more. She didn’t just want to stop the premature aging she wanted to reverse it.
Dr. Joseph Antoun is the CEO & Chairman of the Board of L-Nutra which is a nutra-tech company focusing on providing people with knowledge to live to 110 and beyond. I knew he was the best person to discuss Mindy’s case with. He is at the forefront of a push to change our current healthcare system of ‘sick care’ to a more proactive approach.
Healthy-aging and Fasting
Scientists have been researching the connection between fasting and aging for decades. Much of this research comes out of the Longevity Institute at the University of Southern California. What they’ve discovered is that aging happens on a cellular level. When the cells are given fuel (like carbohydrates, proteins, and fats) it accelerates the aging process of the cells. The more we fuel the cells, the faster they age. But, the cells also need fuel to survive. So, the best way to slow the process is to allow the cells to take ‘pit stops’ with intermittent fasting.
How Long Should You Fast?
Dr. Antoun shares the benefits of intermittent fasting and prolonged fasting. Using his analogy of pit stops, he explains that these shorter periods of fasting can help slow the aging process of the cells. However, he points out that longer periods of fasting (several days) creates a different cellular reaction. In these longer periods of fasting, the cells become stressed which moves them into a state of autophagy or self-cleaning & self-improving. The discovery of this reaction was so significant, it won the researchers the Nobel Prize in medicine in 2016.
Prolonged fasting enables major cellular restructuring which contributes to healthy aging. This is because cells can deal with short term fasting by accessing stored fat, protein and carbohydrates. When those stores run out, the cells have to restructure and optimize. Prolonged fasts typically last from 3 – 5 days but these longer fast should be done in a clinic under supervision.
What is the Fasting Mimicking Diet?
Fasting-Mimicking is a system developed by the University of Southern California that allows you to eat specific foods in the right ratios and still be considered fasting, essentially mimicking a fast. This enables people to get all the benefits of fasting without the starvation, losing essential nutrients or needing medical supervision. The food is specially designed so that the cells don’t recognize it as food.
The diet itself is plant-based, it’s high in good fats (ketoline fats or mid-chain fats) and low in protein and carbs. In the right combination, these nutrients are enough to feed the body and vital organs but just right for your cells to still be able to restructure. Dr. Antoun and his colleagues developed a program that people can follow at home called the ProLon 5-Day Fasting Mimicking Diet Kit and it can’t be simpler. It comes with all the food you need for the 5 days and completely takes any guesswork out because everything is included. This carefully formulated nutrition program nourishes the body with plant-based proteins, fiber rich carbs and healthy fats, and goes undetected by cellular food sensing paths to keep your body in fasting mode.
For healthy people interested in supporting their longevity, Dr. Antoun suggests doing a prolonged fast 2-3 times per year.
What is Intermittent Fasting or Intermittent Dieting?
This has been the most popular diets for the past two years but Dr. Antoun points out that it’s not really new; it’s how we are supposed to eat. This is the practice of eating our food during a 12-hour period (usually the day) and then not eating for 12-hours (overnight). Dr. Antoun calls this circadian fasting. The body needs a rhythm and our modern lives can interrupt that rhythm. Circadian fasting reinforces that natural rhythm.
The 12-hours of not-eating gives the body time to use the fuel that was gathered in the 12-hours of eating. If the body does not get that time of fasting, it accelerates the use of that fuel which speeds up the aging process.
Is 16-hours of Fasting Too Long?
You might hear people talking about fasting for 16 hours and only eating during an 8-hour window. Dr. Antoun says that this is really only ideal for people with health conditions like obesity, type 2 diabetes, or pre-diabetic people who need to lose weight quickly. But for those who are not obese or in need of fast weight loss, this is typically not necessary. He also says that the 16 hours is not enough time for the cells to rejuvenate so you are not getting those benefits. Also, the 16:8 is not always sustainable whereas the 12:12 is natural.
Diet and Longevity
Aside from intermittent fasting, Dr. Antoun points to research that shows the pescatarian diet is the best for promoting long life. The pescatarian diet is primarily plant-based with protein coming in the form of fish or seafood 2-3 times per week. Other studies have found longevity zones where the diet is more ‘flexitarian’ meaning the diet is primarily plant-based but meat is used for flavoring and not as the primary ingredient in a meal.
The first step for Mindy was to add more veggies, good fats and antioxidant rich foods into her diet while reducing processed foods and her overall meat intake. She started intermittent fasting for 4 weeks and then did the fasting-mimicking diet.
She lost 9 pounds in the first month and her energy skyrocketed. The aches felt better as well.
We then did some micronutrient and organic acid testing and saw she was quite deficient in many vitamins and minerals and had too many free radicals. We supported her antioxidant status with Glutathione, Vitamin C and a special annatto form of Vitamin E (more potent than regular vitamin E).
About 8 weeks after we started, she felt significantly better and was ready to do the Prolon 5 Day Fasting Mimicking Diet. The first 2 days were pretty easy. The 3rd day was a bit tougher as she felt a bit hungry. She really started to feel the benefits by the 4th day.
Mindy’s wrinkles didn’t disappear but they felt less deep and her skin was glowing. Overall, she also felt super clear headed and she was down 5 more pounds when she was done. She plans to do another prolonged fast in a few months to maintain her health and vitality.
Eliminating Health Mysteries
For Mindy we were able to reset her accelerated aging and help her feel her own age again. Could this be the missing clue for you or someone in your life?
Thanks for Listening
If you like what you heard, please rate and review this podcast. Every piece of feedback not only helps me create better shows, it helps more people find this important information.
All information, content, and material on this podcast is for informational purposes only and is not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider.
Some of the links provided are affiliate links. This means we may make a very small amount of money should you choose to buy after clicking on them. This will in no way affect the price of the product but it helps us a tiny bit in covering our expenses.