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5 Day Fasting Mimicking Diet Improves Cognitive Function

A 5 day diet that rejuvenates memory and learning? Alright, you’ve got my attention…

About FMD

FMD is a type of diet that mimics fasting (fasting mimicking diet = FMD). In the study, subjects were required to eat around 50% less calories over five days in a month (FMD). For the remaining 25 days of the month, they reverted to their normal diet.

Study Results

The study was performed on mice and human test subjects. These were the results:

  • FMD rejuvenates the immune system and reduces cancer incidence in C57BL/6 mice
  • FMD promotes hippocampal neurogenesis and improves cognitive performance in mice
  • FMD causes beneficial changes in risk factors of age-related diseases in humans

Well, okay, so the memory and learning bit was only relevant to the mice, but there was good news for the human test subjects, too. They reduced biomarkers of aging, diabetes, cardiovascular risk and cancer just by restricting their dietary intake for 5 days in a month. And Professor Valter Longo, the expert on longevity who led the study believes that normal people would only need to go on the FMD every 3 to 6 months to reap the benefits.

Admittedly, the study is small – only 19 subjects but the results are promising enough to warrant further study.

Image Source: Science Direct

What’s the Diet?

I didn’t have access to the journal article, but the Telegraph has kindly provided the details:

Day 1: 10 per cent protein, 56 per cent fat and 34 per cent carbohydrate, making 1,090 calories.

Day 2-5: Nine per cent protein, 44 per cent fat and 47 per cent carbohydrate, making 725 calories.

* As always, you should seek your doctor’s advice before embarking on such significant dietary alterations. Also remember that fasting poses significant health risks when performed incorrectly.

See also: Fasting-mimicking diet’ may promote health and longevity

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of (a website on parenting, education, child development) and (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

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