Fasting Mimetics: Health And Longevity Benefits With Dr. Valter Longo

Key takeaways:

  • Fasting mimetics are compounds that mimic the effects of fasting without requiring complete abstinence from food.

  • The fasting-mimetic diet has been found to improve many health concerns, such as insulin resistance, cellular rejuvenation, and metabolic flexibility.

  • Fasting-mimetic drugs may help short term, but potential long-term effects are still unknown.

  • According to Dr. Valter Longo, everyone can benefit from two to three cycles of the five-day fasting-mimicking diet protocol a year.

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Does anyone feel like they have a good understanding of how much calorie reduction is required to mimic fasting? I’ve read Longo’s stuff but not sure I totally trust him since he’s selling a product.
If you just reduce calories to a net negative calorie balance, is that enough? Body builders can’t really build muscle unless they’re in a calorie surplus, so is anything less than that catabolic? And if you’re in a catabolic state, is atophagy happening?

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I think the key is having periods of time in a “not fed” state. mTOR should be off and some other things to encourage autophagy


I’m thinking that nothing in the human body is “on” or “off” but dialed up or down.


@KarlT Exactly. Most things in the body are dialed up and down for the most part. Best to think of dials in regards to Rapamycin.

However, if you do dose certain substances in significant doses, you can turn things on or off completely… But usually not in a good way (like causing death).

He is selling a product but science behind is clear enough.
You can mimic fasting with around 500 kcal daily, mostly fat and complex carbs, no simple carbs and protein to keep you IGF-1 low.
Basically best way is to consume two smallish avocados per day.

IMO CR is just a way to optimize metabolic pathways and make your body run more efficiently. Any restriction beyond 20% can potentially lead to starvation, which is not same as fasting or optimizing metabolism but can be detrimental to your health.

How would you differentiate fasting from starvation?

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everyone can benefit from two to three cycles of the five-day fasting-mimicking diet protocol a year.” Longo allows that fasting is not advisable at higher ages. Primarily from losing muscle mass. Not stated in the article.

Also - very easy to replicate his protocol. Recipes for a Fasting-Mimicking Diet

I have done his protocol with my own recipe. It “mimics” fasting to a large degree. I have compared metrics like blood sugar and they are the same whether using his concoction or water fasting.

At 68, I will no longer 3-5 day fast as it is too much of a catabolic state for my age. I do have a smaller eating window daily - generally 8 hours. And my thinking is that fasting mimetics (rapamycin) are safer than fasting at age 70 and beyond.


Perhaps the starvation stage of fasting begins when the liver runs out of glucose. That would be about 24 hours, I think.

Fasting is transient, followed by refeeding period. Starvation is chronic and is a threat to survival of organism.

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@Bettywhitetest Could you determine if trials were done comparing low calorie diets with different macro makeup? Would a 500 calorie a day diet of mostly protein still work?

I don’t believe any trials like that were done. At its essence, Longo’s protocol is low protein and low carbohydrate with few enough calories to put one into a fasting state. His research up the point of his protocol was with fasting and cancer treatments. While fasting, the cancer treatment was more effective. But he came up with the nutrient protocol as he found it hard to persuade patients to fast while on treatment.

When doing my own version of the mimicking diet, it was pretty hard to find enough foods with low protein. Broccoli for example has quite a bit of protein. Some folks found it just easier to do a straightforward fast than take in low calories.

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Certainly not, as it would stimulate insulin, IGF-1 and mTOR pathway. You would want to maximize the benefits of fasting trough modulating aging and the development of cancer.

At my age I think I’m going to minimize the fast to 24-48 hrs combined with Rapa, to avoid muscle loss from extended fast.


I eat broccoli all the time. Looked it up. Surprising amount of protein and sugar.

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Longo in the news…

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To “mimic” the fast mimicking diet, you try to reach the following ratio of fats, carbs, protein: 9% protein, 44% fat, 47% carbs. So to try to fit that into the 600 calories or so allowed per day can be pretty complex when weighing grams of food. But the process is illuminating.

Brocolli’s ratio is the following: 66% carbohydrate, 27% protein, and 7% fat. Spinach is another “high” protein food.

I read one dieter claim that eating 2 avocados a day pretty much hits the Longo protocol ratio.

Makes sense. Need to keep the muscles especially the back/hips/legs. I lift on rapa day +1 (about 36 hours post dosing) to lower the loss of muscle. I eat low protein post dosing for the same time period. I also do a 24 hour fast on rapa day +2 (I eat breakfast with protein to feed my muscle repair post resistance training) and then no food until next breakfast. Not perfect for either but I’m walking a thin line.

I lift again on rapa day +3 & 5, and then heal before rapa day. I do cardio everyday I don’t lift.

At the end of the week (rapa day +5/6 I eat more calories and protein to rebuild until rapa day.

Any thoughts on improvement?

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Sounds great. I will be experimenting with different regimens. If only there were a way to measure if any of what we do actually works.