For Your Health
For Your Health

News from the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences

Valter Longo to give seminar on fasting mimicking diets April 24

The Department of Biomedical Sciences will host Valter Longo, PhD, of the University of Southern California on April 24. Dr. Longo, who will give a talk to UND faculty, students, and staff entitled “Fasting Mimicking Diets, Regeneration, and Age-related Diseases,” is a professor of gerontology and biological sciences at USC.

Decades of genetic and nutrition studies by Dr. Longo’s laboratory and others have resulted in the identification and understanding of strategies to activate high protection, repair, and regeneration systems able not only to prevent but also treat diseases. We now know that certain genetic mutations are effective in greatly reducing cancer and diabetes rates in mice and humans. Chronic dietary restriction is also able to prevent major diseases in monkeys and has strong effects on disease risk factors in humans, but it can have detrimental effects on lean body mass and potentially on immunity and wound healing. In contrast, periodic Fasting Mimicking Diets (FMDs), given to human subjects up to once a month for five days, are able to promote protection and potentially regeneration without severe side effects. In mice, FMDs cause regeneration in multiple systems leading to the amelioration or reversal of a number of pathologies. In humans, FMDs can reduce many disease risk factors, and reduce abdominal adiposity without causing significant losses of muscle mass. These results indicate that FMDs are safe and have high potential to improve health and prevent a variety of age-related diseases. A number of ongoing and future clinical trials will determine which diseases these FMDs are able to treat effectively in the presence or absence of standard-of-care drugs.

Learning objectives for Dr. Longo’s talk are to:

  • Learn about the genetics of aging
  • Learn about the effects of calorie restriction on diseases
  • Learn about the effects of FMDs on diseases in mice
  • Learn about the effects of FMDs on disease prevention in humans
  • Learn about the effects of FMDs on disease treatment in humans

The Department of Biomedical Sciences is inviting a limited number of UND faculty to meet with Dr. Longo during his visit. If you or faculty members in your department are interested in individual meetings or setting up a group meeting, please contact Mike Ullrich at by Friday, April 12 with your availability.