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The Longevity Diet

Discover the New Science Behind Stem Cell Activation and Regeneration to Slow Aging, Fight Disease, and Optimize Weight

Valter Longo

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  • The Longevity Diet

    Penguin LCC US

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    Penguin LCC US

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The internationally renowned, clinically tested, revolutionary diet program to lose weight, fight disease, and live a longer, healthier life.

Can what you eat determine how long, and how well, you live? The clinically proven answer is yes, and The Longevity Diet is easier to follow than you'd think. The culmination of 25 years of research on aging, nutrition, and disease across the globe, this unique program lays out a simple solution to living to a healthy old age through nutrition. The key is combining the healthy everyday eating plan the book outlines, with the scientifically engineered fasting-mimicking diet, or FMD; the FMD, done just 3-4 times a year, does away with the misery and starvation most of us experience while fasting, allowing you to reap all the beneficial health effects of a restrictive diet, while avoiding negative stressors, like low energy and sleeplessness. Valter Longo, director of the Longevity Institute at USC and the Program on Longevity and Cancer at IFOM in Milan, designed the FMD after making a series of remarkable discoveries in mice, then in humans, indicating that specific diets can activate stem cells and promote regeneration and rejuvenation in multiple organs to significantly reduce risk for diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer's, and heart disease. Longo's simple pescatarian daily eating plan and the periodic fasting-mimicking techniques can both yield impressive results. Low in proteins and sugars and rich in healthy fats and plant-based foods, The Longevity Diet is proven to help you:

- Lose weight and reduce abdominal fat
- Extend your healthy lifespan with simple everyday changes
- Prevent age-related muscle and bone loss
- Build your resistance to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's and cancer

Longo's healthy, life span-extending program is based on an easy-to-adopt pescatarian plan along with the fasting-mimicking diet no more than 4 times a year, just 5 days at a time. Including 30 easy recipes for an everyday diet based on Longo's five pillars of longevity, The Longevity Diet is the key to living a longer, healthier, more fulfilled life.

"Dr. Valter Longo is one of the world's leading researchers on longevity, and in this book he's done an exemplary job of consolidating the most current strategies into easy to understand principles. In particular, his research on fasting is one of the most fascinating new strategies to improve health and longevity."
-Joseph Mercola, DO, Founder of, the most visited natural health site on the internet

"Valter Longo is a terrific scientist who writes beautifully and, this book is the culmination of many years of work, the product of a real passion to understand the underlying mechanisms behind diet, disease and longevity. What he has already shown through his lab work, and what his human studies are making clear, is that it is possible, through the right diet, to turn back the clock, put ourselves on the road to good health. I hope this book is as widely read as it deserves to be."
-Dr Michael Mosley, BBC science journalist and author of The Fast Diet

"Dr. Longo has put together a flawless formula for a daily diet and periodic fasting that optimizes the newest and best data available for a healthy brain, body and mind. Safe to say there is probably none better!"
-Rudolph E. Tanzi, PhD, Professor of Neurology at Harvard University, Director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital, and author of the New York Times bestseller Super Brain

"There is an ever-increasing recognition that diet plays a critical role in lifespan and healthspan. Valter Longo is a pioneer in advancing research in this field. In the Longevity Diet he translates his laboratory expertise into user-friendly tips and tools for improving how we eat, how we age, and how we live."
- Pinchas Cohen, M.D., Dean, University of Southern California Leonard Davis School of Gerontology

"The health benefits associated with periodic fasting are as striking as they are surprising. Here, Dr. Valter Longo, a recognized leader in the field, embarks on an odyssey through the major chronic diseases that are currently plaguing humanity and shows that they are all modifiable by diets that mimic the fasted state."
- Brian Kennedy, Director of the Centre for Healthy Ageing and Professor in Biochemistry and Physiology, National University Singapore

Valter Longo is the director of the Longevity Institute at USC in Los Angeles, and of the Program on Longevity and Cancer at IFOM (Molecular Oncology FIRC Institute) in Milan. His studies focus on the fundamental mechanisms of aging in simple organisms and mice and on how they can be translated to humans. Dr. Longo received the 2010 Nathan Shock Lecture Award from the National Institute on Aging (NIA/NIH) and the 2013 Vincent Cristofalo "Rising Star" Award in Aging Research from the American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR).


Einband gebundene Ausgabe
Seitenzahl 320
Erscheinungsdatum 02.01.2018
Sprache Englisch
ISBN 978-0-525-53407-5
Verlag Penguin LCC US
Maße (L/B/H) 23.7/16.5/2.7 cm
Gewicht 505 g


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  • Chapter 1

    Caruso's Fountain

    Back to Molochio

    Drive an hour and a half north from the southernmost tip of Italy and you'll reach a little town called Molochio in the region of -Calabria. Its name is probably derived from the Greek word molokhē, meaning "mallow," which is a medicinal plant with a bright purple flower. In the central piazza, there's a fountain you can safely drink from, its cold water flowing via underground springs directly from the Aspromonte mountains.

    In 1972, when I was five years old, I spent six months in Molochio with my mother, who had gone there to stay with my ailing grandfather. For many years, my nonno Alfonso had neglected a hernia, a simple condition that could have been treated with the right care. The day he died, everyone was calling his name to wake him. I walked in the room and said, "Can't you see that he has died already?" I was very close to my grandfather, and his death caused me great sadness; but even as a child, I felt that dealing with aging and death was something that I was supposed to do, that I had to take charge of the situation somehow.

    Our neighbor in Molochio, Salvatore Caruso, was about the same age as my grandfather. In 2012, forty years after my grandfather's death, Salvatore and I would appear in the same issue of the scientific journal Cell Metabolism for my group's discovery that a low-protein diet, based on the eating habits of Molochio's elders, is associated with low cancer and overall mortality rates in the US population. The cover image of 108-year-old Salvatore standing among the Calabrian olive trees made the pages of The Washington Post and media around the globe. Two years after that, Salvatore was the oldest man in Italy, and one of four centenarians living in Molochio. Since there were only around two thousand people living there at the time, this meant Molochio had one of the highest proportions of centenarians in the world (four times that of Okinawa, Japan, which is believed to have the highest rate of centenarians for a large region).

    Salvatore, who died in 2015 at the age of 110, started drinking from Molochio's fountain soon after he was born in 1905; given the exceptional longevity of so many of the town elders, it's tempting to think it might be the closest thing we have to a real fountain of youth. But while that's an interesting thought, I've spent most of my life studying the science of living long, and the truth is nothing so enchanted. You don't need to travel to Molochio to drink from its fountain of youth-but if you did, you would learn many of the secrets of longevity from its centenarians.

    From Tradition to Science

    Whether by luck or destiny, my life took a path that has given me a unique and invaluable perspective on different diets and cultures. From the Calabrian diet of Molochio, where I spent childhood summers, to the pescetarian Ligurian diet of Genoa, where I was raised, to the heavy American diets of Chicago and Texas, to the health-obsessed diet of that mecca of youthfulness, Los Angeles-I've lived the full range of good, bad, and excellent nutrition, which has helped me formulate hypotheses about the -connection between food, disease, and longevity. It also helped me realize that in order to understand how people can live long, healthy lives, we need to go beyond scientific, epidemiological, and clinical studies and investigate actual populations that age successfully.

    Although I didn't know it at the time, I grew up between two places that boast among the healthiest traditional diets in the world. Unlike other regions of Italy famous for their meats (Tuscany) or their heavy cream-based sauces (Lazio, Emilia--Romagna), Liguria and Calabria maintained a cuisine based on complex -carbohydrates and vegetables, with dishes like minestrone, pansotti al sugo di noce (a ravioli-like pasta with vegetable filling served in a walnut sauce), and farinata (garbanzo beans and olive oil). During the summers of my chi