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 Podcast #106 - Fasting Made Easy: The Nutrition Technology That Gives You the Benefits of Prolonged Fasting – With Food! | Joseph Antoun, MD, PhD, MPP

The Science of Self-Healing Hosted by
Dr. Sharon Stills With Joseph Antoun, MD, PhD, MPP

About Joseph Antoun, MD, PhD, MPP

Joseph Antoun, MD, PhD passion is to enhance human longevity by nurturing a true healthcare system alongside the current sick care system.


Dr. Antoun is the CEO and Chairman of the Board of L-Nutra, a unique Nutri-tech company leading the Food as Medicine movement by applying cutting edge Science to Nutrition research first to uncover what humans should eat to live healthier longer and second to help patients achieve better health outcomes. Dr. Antoun served as the Chairman of the Board at the Global Healthspan Policy Institute (GHPI) and as a member of Forbes Business Development Council.


Before taking on these roles, Dr. Antoun was the CEO of Health Systems Reform, a boutique consultancy aimed at elevating public health through reforming health systems, strengthening healthcare management and improving healthcare delivery; the Co-Director of the Center for Health Policy at the University of Chicago; an adjunct Professor of Health Policy at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging; and a fellow at the Department of Social Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Dr. Antoun founded and served as the Co-Editor in Chief of the Journal of Health Systems and Reform.


Dr. Antoun has dedicated his professional experience to reforming health systems towards preventive care, to create a market for healthy aging by launching the first aging and longevity product called ProLon, and to bringing back fasting as a longevity practice to humanity. In 2016, Dr. Antoun launched the Fasting Market, which by 2018, became the #1 nutrition regimen in the US, and continues to grow in popularity. In 2018, the Fasting Mimicking Diet was granted a patent on 'promoting longevity and healthspan’.


Dr. Antoun completed his Health Policy studies at Harvard University, Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, Medicine and Biological Sciences at Saint Joseph University, and his PhD studies in Mediterranean & Middle Eastern Studies at King's College. He is married to the loveliest Carine, has three amazing boys and stays healthy by practicing time restricted eating, periodic fasting and walking daily while on his phone.

Resources Mentioned:

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Episode Highlights with Joseph Antoun, MD, PhD,MPP

  • Dr. Joseph Antoun is the CEO of L-Nutra, a wellness company that focuses on promoting healthy living and longevity through nutrition. The name L-Nutra is derived from the company's passion for enhancing human longevity through nutrition. L-Nutra is a leading nutri-tech company that develops Fasting Mimicking Diets (FMD) to prevent, intercept, and reverse age-related diseases. The company is passionate about how nutrition helps people live a healthy, long life.


  • Dr. Valter Longo was the founder of L-Nutra and also the author of the book, The Longevity Diet. He is now the head of the Longevity Institute at University of Southern California. 


  • Since food is the only product that we consume every day of our life, Dr. Longo wanted to know why we have not put ethical, robust science behind uncovering what we should eat as humans to live a healthy long life, and why no one has put ethical evidence-based science behind tailoring food as medicine so that food becomes part of the cure and treatment. 


  • The secret that Dr. Longo discovered during his research at the University of Southern California was the power of fasting. More specifically he discovered that the benefits increase with periodic fasting lasting for three to five days.


  • There are many types of fasting strategies. Dr. Antoun is focusing on one type of fasting known as periodic or prolonged fasting, which is two days and beyond in duration. 


  • With shorter periods of periodic fasting the human body typically has enough fat stores, what are called reserves (fat and glycogen to compensate for the calorie deficit) for two days, which creates a calorie deficit that the body responds to by using its reserves. It is a helpful strategy since 73% of people need to lose some weight and have metabolic issues. 


  • However when you enter the second day of periodic fasting, the body signals the cells that there is a crisis after using up the reserves. This triggers a process called autophagy, which is a natural way for the body to recycle and remove degraded cellular components, promoting cellular renewal. During fasting, every cell is impacted by autophagy since every cell has to look inside of its compartment and try to consume the debris, the organelles, and try to clean up and rejuvenate. Autophagy is also known as self-eat, self-rejuvenate, and it won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2016.


  • During the second day of fasting, the body's cells are cleaning, detoxing, and rebuilding to survive. Fasting is a total body rejuvenation that can bring you to a slightly younger biological age by fixing your cells. Fasting is one of the proven interventions, along with exercising, dieting, and sleeping, that can help you age in a healthy and graceful way. However, fasting for more than five days can bankrupt your body.

  • After seeing the transformative effects of periodic fasting research in mice, The National Institute of Health sponsored L-Nutra, the University of Southern California, and many other universities to develop what we call the fasting mimicking diet.


  • It took $36 million of research and was tested with more than 14 universities and 32 clinical trials for researchers to develop the fasting nutrition program, ProLon. It has received over 50 patents in different countries around the world, and it's the only formulation to have been awarded a patent for promoting longevity and rejuvenation. It is a powerful intervention that is similar to what our ancestors experienced when they didn't have food all the time.


  • Prolon is a product which contains bars, soups, and supplements for each day of the five-day program. Your body thinks you're fasting while you're eating. It is one of the biggest breakthroughs in nutrition. The foods in the Prolon program nourish the body but do not trigger the cellular food sensors known as nutrient-sensing pathways. Essentially, the program allows users to eat while their cells remain in a fasting state. 


  • Studies show that 8% of Americans are practicing some intermittent fasting or interested in doing it.


  • Intermittent fasting should not be started at night for various reasons. 


  • A better way to intermittent fasting is to eat dinner at 6 or 7 p.m. and then eat breakfast at 9 or 10 a.m. the next morning. Dr. Antoun recommends 12 to 14 hours of fasting, or up to 16 hours if you need to accentuate weight loss.

  • The best intermittent fasting is circadian fasting, where you eat no later than 7 p.m., sleep healthily, and then have breakfast in the morning. You can push it a little bit to 8, 9, or 10 p.m. if you plan on eating breakfast at 10 a.m. Circadian fasting aligns the cycles of fasting with the cycles of sleeping and feeding your brain and essential organs when they need to be fed instead of starving them when they're most active. Circadian fasting is correlated with healthy aging and longevity. 


  • Ozempic, a drug for diabetic patients, causes rapid weight loss but also leads to muscle loss. When patients stop taking Ozempic, their metabolic rate is lower due to muscle loss. 


  • Dr. Antoun recommends that for healthy aging people do the mimicking fasting diet two to three times a year. For those who want to achieve a health goal, they should fast about four times a year.


  • ProLon is a five-day fasting mimicking diet that switches your body into fasting mode while still allowing you to eat small amounts of food. 


  • The trials are showing that 60% of the benefits of key health markers remained for three to five months after using a Prolon fasting program.


  • A recently published article in the Journal of Clinical Medicine, one of the top journals, shows statistically significant changes in skin hydration, skin glowness, and texture after women used the Prolon program.


  • Fasting with a nourishing program through L-Nutra before chemotherapy enhances treatment by starving cancer cells of the nutrients they need to defend themselves. Fasting also causes normal cells to hibernate. Lastly, the fasting-mimicking diet rejuvenates immunity every time it is done. 


  • Dr.  Longo, has started two clinics (one in Los Angeles and one in Italy) where he sees cancer patients. It is cancer remission program based on nutrition and lifestyle called the Create Cures Foundation.

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