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karimus • 6 years ago

"“The ideal diet is a plant and fish based diet that is low in protein, about 0.37 grams per kilogram body"
It is so low for muscle maintenance that is probably a typo. There is no study mentioning 0.37 in kg but only in lb:
Tarnopolsky et al. (1988) found that only 0.37g/lb was required to maintain positive nitrogen balance in elite bodybuilders.
I can hardly imagine that it is a coincidence.
So 0.37g/lg is 0.81g/kg which is the recommend one to maintain muscle mass. If you have reference to 0.37g/kg for protein, I would like to read it.

Virginia Robards • 6 years ago

As I understand it, 0.37g/kg is what Longo speculated, in that interview, to be close to an ideal amount of protein for this specific goal (prolonging lifespan).

That isn't necessarily a prescriptive statement - and I don't believe he is saying that adopting such an intake would be free of other potential drawbacks.

danpardi • 6 years ago

karimus, I'm going to quote exactly what I wrote:
"Here is a quote from Volter Longo of the Longevity Institute at University of Southern California, from an interview with The Low Histamine Chef

“The ideal diet is a plant and fish based diet that is low in protein, about 0.37 grams per kilogram body weight and that may increase a little bit in proteins after age 65 or 70, depending on the need, and then a diet that is high in nourishment meaning a lot of greens a lot of vegetables, not so much fruit, a little bit but not very much and a diet that is rich in nuts, rich in olive oil, legume-rich also.”

Please note that protein amount suggested by Dr. Longo is extremely low. Please read the rest of that interview to hear the discussion on “ideal diet.”"

karimus • 6 years ago

Yep but i am skeptical about that amount because I have read the recommendations and their explanations on protein, written by the Institut of medecine and I have never read that number. I have read elsewhere that he is in favor of limiting protein to maintain muscle mass. Also I am sure he does not invent that number so please if someone has a reference to such number (0.37g/kg), please share it.

Virginia Robards • 6 years ago

karimus you were right to be skeptical. I contacted Dr. Longo personally and he indicated that it was actually 0.37 grams per POUND. That would translate to roughly 0.8 grams per kilogram, which is a much more realistic figure and is largely consistent with previous literature in this area.

Dan and I will figure out a way to modify the blog post accordingly to reflect that. Thanks for the feedback!

rbrine01 • 6 years ago

Hi, Virginia. It has been 8 months since you indicated that someone from the blog will make the correction in the article, but the original error is still there, which could impact people's health quite significantly if they take it to heart. Please make this change or place an addendum at the bottom of the quote, citing that you contacted Dr. Longo, and he verified the correct amount of protein (0.37g/Lb not 0.37g/kg). Thank you.

Virginia Robards • 6 years ago

Thank you for bringing this to my attention, rbrine01. I thought I had corrected it before - I have now amended that error.

karimus • 6 years ago

Thank you. I would add that 0.8g is the value that would cover

statistically most need of people but some people my need less (if my
memories are not rotten, some people will be just fine with just
0.6g/kg). I suppose it is all trial and error & the important thing
is to maintain lean mass as the ultimate thermometer of protein need.

you are in touch with Valter Longo, I have a unrelated question: why
nobody have never try water restriction on animal for lifespan? I have
read that calorie restriction protein restriction & specific amino
acid restriction increase lifespan of various species. And how about a
various water restriction with food ad libitum?Or the difference
between dry fasting and wa
ter based fasting on biomarkers and lifespan
Or could you tell me how to contact him ? Thank you for your help.

Virginia Robards • 6 years ago

Well, I don't know that I would say that I'm in touch with him. I just emailed him via his university email at USC - it isn't hard to find.

A couple of studies have suggested that water restriction could prolong lifespan in fruit flies, through reduced stimulation of water-sensing neurons. Not sure if it's ever been studied in other organisms.

If you did water restriction + ad lib food intake, I would expect your feeding patterns to shift - both in volume and in food choices - to compensate. We can and do get a significant proportion of our fluid needs met through food.

Yuri J • 6 years ago

It's strange . . .​
people make all the fuss of the world to achieve longevity, even in such a considerable hard way, for a mere century or two life span, while take little notice of immortality that is possible here and now.

Joellen Christiansen • 7 years ago

Hi Dan, love your blog, but now am a bit confused. I am almost 60 (female), & was thinking of doing Simple Food Diet, or even Flash Diet, for a month or two. But perhaps it is better to try some lower protein modified fasting, esp. considering how high my cancer risk is due to family history. Are you & Stephan working on a new diet with aging folks in mind that will be lower protein than the existing IDW plans?

danpardi • 7 years ago

Hi Joellen Christiansen

Thank you and glad you like the blog! A confusing thing about health is how guidance is
often context and goal dependent. For example, protein intake can help with the
better management of calorie intake because of specific hormones that are released in response to its consumption that assist with satiety, but protein also stimulates growth pathways. At certain times of life, inhibiting growth pathways *might* make sense, but read the debate in the discuss below with Jamie Scott for other opinions on this.

Many things about the Simple Food Diet, however, align with healthy aging strategies. Stephan and I have not discussed modifying the diet for a duel purpose of weight loss - slow aging, but there are other things to consider with aging and diet that could help you decide how to proceed. First, a weight loss phase is temporary. Secondly, you could do a fast one day a week while on the diet where you keep protein low, veggies and fiber high for that day. Those are just some ideas for you, but as I mentioned, at this time we don't have a fully considered program for the dual purpose of aging and weight loss.

danpardi • 7 years ago

In response to a conversation on Twitter:


Hi @DrDeborahMD, @juliannejtaylor, @SkylerTanner @_Jamie_Scott,

First time trying TwitPlus. Thank you @_Jamie_Scott. I kind of hate twitter for a discussion. How can you respond adequately to good, complex questions?

Jamie wrote: "I am someone who isn't caught up in the appeal of living forever, so will take QoL over life extension."

Important point. What are the goals of the individual? This series is not about what we should do, but what one might be interested in if longevity is a priority. Still, many of the areas I'm writing about are promising but underresearched in humans. So, it remains to be seen whether the effects of these interventions in non-human models of aging will translate to compelling effects in humans performing similar protocols, and if those protocols are tolerable. The healthspan vs lifespan question is important, but falsely dichotomizing the two is often unnecessary. At extremes, those who may seek to absolutely maximize longevity levels may lead an existence that is unattractive for many. On the other hand, it's likely possible that someone could strategize a lifestyle oriented towards longevity that would also be suitable, sustainable and desirable for many people. While a variety of interventions have merit, reduced total protein intake, being selective on protein sources, and use of various methods of fasting are things well within our ability.

Additionally, in animal models, strategies to extend lifespan also seems to increase healthspan in that these same strategies diminish chronic age-related conditions. If you can use anti-aging strategies to reduce incremental cellular damage, the body is able to take of itself better. Long-term calorie restriction in humans does induce metabolic and molecular changes - particularly reduced inflammation and alterations in nutrient sensing pathways, but also increased stress resistance, reduced oxidative stress - such that an older person appears more youthful (by the metabolic, hormonal, molecular). But calorie restriction is hard to do, too hard for many people I think, so it's worth looking for easier approaches. From the twitter conversation, there are caveats and things to look out for that could put a person in a worse off position, but that is why we need to test. Regarding eggs, specifically, showing increases in QoL, doesn't mean someone can't have a satisfactory quality of life without them. Additionally, it's pretty clear from the research that I've been doing that some aging strategies don't need to be employed for a positive effect until later in life (eg., 70 years old or older). Thanks for your input! Always love hearing from each of you.

Cody Fyler • 7 years ago

What about getting more protein from glycene rich sources? Collagen/gelatin?

danpardi • 7 years ago

Gelatin is a relatively good source of protein for anti-aging purposes.

The amino acid breakdown of gelatin is as follows (see image):
glycine 21%,
proline 12%,
hydroxyproline 12%,
glutamic acid 10%,
alanine 9%,
arginine 8%,
aspartic acid 6%,
lysine 4%,
serine 4%,
leucine 3%,
valine 2%,
phenylalanine 2%,
threonine 2%,
hydroxylysine 1%,
methionine and histidine <1%
tyrosine <0.5%

Amino acids that SUPPRESS the activity of amino-acid deficiency signaling pathway, GCN2 (an anti-aging pathway) are:
Lysine [4% of gelatin]
Histidine [<1% of gelatin]

Tryptophan [0% of gelatin]
Methionine [<1% of gelatin]
Arginine [8% of gelatin]
Phenylalanine [2% of gelatin]

Pretty low

Also, let's look at stimulators of mTOR (a pro-aging pathway):
leucine [3% of gelatin]
valine [3% of gelatin]
isoleucine [1% of gelatin]

Very low

Jeff Rothschild • 7 years ago

I love Dr Longo and his research, but 0.37 g/kg would not be very much fun to consume for longer than a few days.

danpardi • 7 years ago

For me, that equates to only 40 grams per day. Even in the interview he talks about how there is "ideal," which I gathered is based on animal models and how those findings would translate into an application for humans to yield the greatest effect, and there are more practical applications, which won't be that low. But intermittently? I could easily have no protein days.

karimus • 6 years ago

So the weight of a blogger like you interested in calorie restriction and so on is 108kg (40/0.37)? Or are you very tall and with muscle?

danpardi • 6 years ago

5'10', 195lbs. I don't calorie restrict, I fast and I eat a high satiety / calorie diet as per our Simple Food Diet https://www.dansplan.com/as...

Jeff Rothschild • 7 years ago

Yeah I'm with you. I did a no protein dinner last night which was fine, I"m thinking of including more low-protein days mixed in with higher protein days, rather than going moderate each day.

Tonyruthie • 5 years ago

I think that is more in line with Longo's thinking.....30 grams of high quality protein right after STRENUOUS exercise and maybe 30 more a few hours later then back to regular on off days. Like more pedal to the metal when getting the car from point A to point B but being sure to turn the car off when finished arriving. RPM's are a good thing when driving but probably a bad thing 24/7 or extended stationary.

danpardi • 7 years ago

And you lived to tell about it!

Travlingypsy • 7 years ago

I have a strong spiritual practice and am aware that the less I eat the more energy, stamina and even strength I have. Ultimately food is a drain on the body. Very advanced spiritual adepts who have arrived, one might say, often don't eat much at all. Some even run their hands over the food picking up the energy of the food and inhale that. I think as a people we addicted to food. It is one of our major distractions from the higher mind, for lack of a better word.