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Valter Longo

Living to 110 on a science-based diet

Dr. Valter Longo returns to the podcast to talk about his new book, The Longevity Diet. The Italian scientist is professor in Gerontology and Biological Science and director of the Longevity Institute at the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles.  The book, already a best-seller in Italy, is the result of decades of research – including laboratory and field studies – into the mechanisms behind the aging process.  The diet is based on a low protein and fish-based plan with periodic fasting. In this in-depth interview Dr. Longo explains why he believes it is the optimal regime to live a long and healthy life; how getting to the age of 110 is a realistic goal, and why the word ‘intermittent’ should be banished from conversations about diet.

Notes and quotes


01:46 – Valter turned 50 last year.  
“I never liked this clock on life and the fact that you are treated based on your chronological age.”
02:51 – Listen to Dr. Longo’s first interview (episode 01) with the LLAMA podcast here or search in the episodes index.  We cover, in-depth, the background to clinical trials, research with Ecuadorian dwarfs, the Fasting Mimicking Diet and his company, L-Nutra.
14:41 – IGF-1 and diet studies – background papers.
22:00 – Professor Satchin Panda studies time-limited fasting.
26:47 – How long could we live is we follow the Longevity Diet? 
“If we created a group of people that followed all the recommendations…we are going to get closer and closer to this 110 average lifespan – for that group.”
33:19 – LLAMA host Peter Bowes was a volunteer (one of the first group of 19) in a 2013 feasibility study of the Fasting Mimicking Diet.  Read the paper: A Periodic Diet that Mimics Fasting Promotes Multi-System Regeneration, Enhanced Cognitive Performance, and Healthspan.
34:02 – Can you create a fasting mimicking diet yourself?   No, says Longo.  It can be dangerous. 
39:27 – Longo’s shares in L-Nutra go to the Create Cures foundation, a non-profit organization which is dedicated to identifying creative, integrative, and inexpensive therapies to help cure and prevent major diseases in the near future. Royalties from The Longevity Diet are to be donated to charities including the Create Cures Foundation. 
45:00 – Peter joined Dr. Longo on a field trip to Ecuador to meet people with Laron syndrome, a condition caused by a genetic defect and which results in a very low level of IGF-1. They very rarely get cancer. Read this in-depth account of the trip and related science in MosaicThe experimental diet that mimics a rare genetic mutation
48:05 – Why the terms ‘Intermittent Fasting,’ Mediterranean Diet’ and ‘in moderation’ are misleading and “blocking people” from understanding the science behind diet and fasting. 
“It’s important to stay away from these words that are easy to say and mean nothing.”
01:01:35 – More information:  The Longevity DietProf. Valter Longo’s Facebook page.
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