To Live Past 100, Mangia a Lot Less: Italian Expert’s Ideas on Aging (NYT)

Valter Longo, who wants to live to a healthy 120 or 130, sees the key to longevity in diet — legumes and fish — and faux fasting.

Dr. Longo, who is also a professor of gerontology and director of the U.S.C. Longevity Institute in California, has long advocated longer and better living through eating Lite Italian, one of a global explosion of Road to Perpetual Wellville theories about how to stay young in a field that is itself still in its adolescence.

Last month, he published a new study based on clinical trials of hundreds of older people — including in the Calabria town from which his family hails — that he said suggests that periodic cycles of his own faux-fasting approach could reduce biological age and stave off illnesses associated with aging.

To Live Past 100, Mangia a Lot Less: Italian Expert’s Ideas on Aging (NYT)


Another article on a prominent advocate for some pet longevity-boosting regime. On the one hand it is valuable to consider a smart/educated person’s thought process and what he sees as evidence for his prescription for longevity. And I also like how he dismantles (just a bit) the idea that Mediterranean countries eat the mythical Mediterranean diet - that whole thing just seems too easy for health writers to glom onto mindlessly. On the other hand, Dr. Longo’s vision seems to rest on such a very specific diet and eating regime, it doesn’t seem that credible to me. Perhaps I’m too skeptical/jaded.


Being 83 years old, my life experience has been, that it’s almost impossible to be too skeptical.
Skepticism is a safeguard on all fronts from finance to medicine


Yes, he seems to be making his career on the fast-mimicking diet (FMD). His actual research shows many benefits of the diet, and I have done the 5-day FMD many times. Still, if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Another red flag for me is that he promotes his research a lot. Finally, I don’t know of another lab that has duplicated any FMD research.

a plant and nut-based diet with supplements and kale crackers

Having to live like this is a fate worse than death itself.


Yeah, it’s a bit like living on CR all the time…you may not live to be 100…but it will seem like it!! LOL


This article is not news at all as it is exactly the same information Dr. Longo has been giving us since his book “The Longevity Diet” was released in 2018 (and possibly before that). It is a merely a blatant attempt to get some publicity. As for Dr. Longo views, I disagree with most of it. I favor the ideas of Matt Kaeberlein, who has equal credentials in the longevity field. Some of the differences:
Per Kaeberlein, super fine tuning the diet will do extremely little to nothing for promoting longevity compared to eating a reasonably healthy diet.
Per Kaeberlein, no intervention we know of is likely to significantly effect actual lifespan potential, though interventions can decrease the likelihood of an individual having their lifespan cut short by one of the diseases of aging.
Kaeberlein seems to have a higher opinion of the value of exercise and seems to believe that one should exercise more than Longo.
Kaeberlein and Longo have very different views as to optimal protein intake and its value. Kaeberlein has a daily intake of roughly 120 grams of protein a day as a 185 pound man, while Longo believes that an intake of about half that amount would be better. They disagree to an even greater extent as to the optimal protein intake for people older than 65. Longo is as “anti-protein” as one can be. I believe Kaeberlein would find Longo’s advice related to protein, dangerously bad advice for our older population.
So, no surprise, I find the article of no value whatsoever.