Odds are you've heard about fasting. Defined as "abstinence from eating," it is something you may have tried now and then. I observe Yom Kippur ceremonies where I do not eat for about 25 hours once a year. Beyond the spiritual aspects of fasting, the potential medical benefits have increasingly been substantiated in animal and medical research projects.
The interest in fasting has grown since The Fast Diet was published in England and gained quite a following. That program consists of decreasing calories to 500 or 600 calories a day for two days a week and has helped many people lose weight and reverse lifestyle diseases like adult diabetes. The new kid on the block, which is actually not so new, is the fasting mimicking diet (FMD). This is the evolution of decades of pioneering work on longevity by Dr. Valter Longo and his team at the University of South California. Dr. Longo is recognized as a leading expert on longevity (if not the expert) and has done great work in describing the basic biochemical pathways by which cells age. I recently completed my second month of the FMD and have started many patients on it, and here's why: