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How Much More Do I need to Change WRT Nutrition?

Saturday, April 06, 2013

How Much More Do I need to Change WRT Nutrition?

2013-04-06 (Last Updated 2013-04-06)

Went to the Y today, at an unusual time of the day for me. My usual TV channels were not working on the Precor recumbent bike, so I watched Michael Mosley (PBS/BBC) interview UKish and USish researchers on longevity and lifestyle. Most of the discussion was on nutrition and its effects on disease, with primary emphasis on cardiovascular disease, cancer and dementia (cerebral fitness loss) -- The Negative Three Cs (3Cs -- my terms).

I was surprised to learn (as he seemed to be) that rather extreme attention to weight and nutrition maintenance has beneficial effects on avoiding the 3Cs. Specifically, periods of fasting reduce production of IGF1 (insulin-like growth factor 1 -- a growth promoting hormone). See, IGF1 is the "bad guy" whose presence, in high levels, seems to promote the 3Cs, and controlled research indicates that periods of fasting -- as little as 4 periods of 12 hours each for 2 of 5 days a week reduces the levels of IGF1.

As is often the case, Mosley (pronounced Mozelee), who has significant exposure because of his medical science documentaries on PBS and BBC, and who has an MD degree, has packaged the ideas into a diet plan and book -- referred to as the 5:2 diet
Note that Mosley has done no scientific research, he has just talked to a variety of researchers. Typical. What's atypical, is that Mosley has not embellished the science with his own gummed up ideas, and he does acknowledge that significantly more research is necessary to demonstrate its efficacy and safety over time.

What most interested me about the idea was that Mosley, himself, was able to drastically reduce his own IGF1 levels, by eating anything he wanted 5 of 7 days a week, and the other two, reducing his calorie consumption to about 600 calories per day.

Concomitant with his IGF1 reduction, were reduction in weight, waist line, and significantly better blood chemistry WRT glucose (threat, here, being Type 2 diabetes), cholesterol, etc.

I'm going to think about this some more to see what I want to do about this. My entire family has a problem with strokes (genetic predisposition to clotting and strokes), and I, myself, had a stroke when I was 27. Moreover, my Mom had severe dementia for years before she died.

In my own case, while I still have a good memory (compared to others), each week brings new instances of short falls that were not there in prior weeks. My brother (5 years, younger) has also indicated this kind of issue.

As an aside on the above, a few weeks ago I had decided that according to SP, I needed to eat more protein, and fat. Animal protein is specifically, the nutrient that leads to high levels of IGF1.


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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Interesting theory and worth looking into. I worry about the dementia. i'm already older than my dad was when he was first diagnosed with it.
    1802 days ago
    I just started a SparkTeam specifically for the 5:2 diet documented in the Horizon episode and the Fast Diet book. If you ever do get into trying it, you should join.
    1803 days ago
    Thank you for your blog post. It is an intriguing idea. I am so sorry that you had a stroke when you were young. That's really dreadful. You seem to be doing everything you can now, however, to take excellent care of yourself.
    1804 days ago
    As a nurse I tend to take a lot of this with a grain of salt. I've seen diets come and go. I was on a low fat diet for years and developed major health problems which only subsided when I went off of it.
    1805 days ago
    This was interesting. My husband has mentioned a couple of times in the last few days that he wants to try a bit of fasting. I could see both of us being able to do this easily. I think I'll read some more on it and talk to him about the idea. emoticon
    1805 days ago
    Thank you for this information. Many people don't eat periods of 12 hours within a week.
    I eat during the evening and even night lately. So don't go by me.

    I have not heard of this before though I have heard fasting is healthy.
    Again, thanks , Chris (Christine)
    1805 days ago
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