IGF-1 and Low-Protein…WITH Low-Carb

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IGF-1 and Low-Protein…WITH Low-Carb

This topic contains 8 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Saintor 8 years, 3 months ago.

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  • Based on Luigi Fontana’s studies, the greatest effect on IGF-1 levels is a reduced protein intake….although the 5:2 fast also reduces them. Still, I’d imagine if protein levels were high on feed days, it could potentially undermine the IGF-1 suppression of the fast days. Is my assumption correct, or do the effects on IGF-1 of the 5:2 plan overshadow protein intake?

    I’ve found it VERY difficult to find foods (other than leafy greens…they’re all fine and good but get old after a while!) that are low-protein AND low-carb, let alone make meal plans that conform. Does anyone have suggestions? Is anyone else limiting both (sort of like being diabetic with kidney disease…neither of which I have, thankfully!).

    My other question is whether quantities consumed (be they calories, grams of protein or carbohydrate) are to be based on one’s goal weight or one’s current weight. Given the objective is more often NOT to maintain one’s current weight, I’m using numbers based on my goal weight….which means, when both protein (at less than .8 per kg/day) and carbohydrates are reduced (trying to keep those to below 50 – I’m also counting net carbs) it’s difficult to get the number of calories I should have (even based on goal weight numbers). I’m starting to add butter to everything and use higher fat salad dressings (NEVER thought I’d do that!). 8/

    Any suggestions?? My concern, of course, is overall nutrition – I do take supplements but don’t think that’s the best answer – more s/b from food.

    Hi Rochelle, your post to me is confusing, and I mean no disrespect. If you eat a balanced diet then, all things being equal you will not require supplements. If you want to basically lose weight then go to any of the thousands of diet programmes available out there. If you want to enhance your inner health, and lose weight then consider the 5:2 way of life. It may be that your own personal dietary, and health requirements are complex. There are many different posters here with many different health issues. Looking at your post,( unless I am missing something) I fail to understand what your points are. If you are focusing on nutrition, then may I suggest you simply focus on a particular diet regime that provides all your required nutritional needs. The information for that is out there and probably easily accessible to you.
    I do not know of Luigi Fontana, there are many researchers out there with many different approaches to health and nutrition. You need to be very specific about what you are asking of posters here and why. You also have to be aware that most posters have little or no professional knowledge or expertise about health or nutrition save for their own experiences and research. This is not to diminish their knowledge, experience or research, far from it, many have some very good information and experiences. I myself have no medical or other professional experience other than my own advice based on my own personal dietary and health experience.
    Good luck.



    u may call me usa

    very interesting

    those r great questions do not know this research

    may i have the link?

    we have some great researches & questioners asking the most important question like urs u sound like u r one of those learned person

    “My concern, of course, is overall nutrition – I do take supplements but don’t think that’s the best answer – more s/b from food.”

    here is a link on this forum i hope will help u go 2 last post of topic it is most recent

    everything a newbie/posters might want 2 c, use & read


    once u have taken the time & made ur own informed decision

    w/ the articles vids & tools & michael’s replies & much more

    keep us posted on what ur conclusions r there r emails on the

    site of dr fung 2


    hope this all helps

    if u click on any name & go 2 their topics i have favorites because they have great info like jeanius

    example wiltldnrUSA


    topics started


    wish u success

    keep us posted

    happy nonfastdays & fastdays & 5/2 & 4/3 & 6/1 & adf or 4/2/1 or 3/3/1 or 5/1/1 or adf w/1 & the fdl (fastday lifestyle) 😀

    Thanks for your comments, Couscous and USA – sorry if I confused you, Couscous….I’ll try to simplify.

    My questions were three:

    1. Does fasting 2 days/wk have the same reducing effect on IGF-1 as lowering protein intake or is the reduced IGF-1 achieved during fasting days reversed by any high protein intake on feed days?

    2. Is anyone trying to limit both carbs AND protein (I have no health issues – just wanting to eat a healthier diet)? If so, have they found any conforming meal plans? I realize that the 5:2 diet may not require anything other than fasting two days a week but my impression is that, at least based on Mosley’s programme, the goal of the 5:2 diet is to become healthier by lowering one’s IGF-1 levels. So, lowering protein, as advised by Dr. Fontana (who Mosley interviewed and worked with in his BBC programme) would work hand-in-hand with fasting. That said, since I’m also trying to limit carbs (which is also healthy), I’m finding it very difficult to compose a diet that lowers both. If meal plans or another online “diet” addressed these issues, I wouldn’t have posted here.

    Oh – USA…here’s a link to a series of videos by Luigi Fontana. He’s done a lot of research with Calorie Restriction but also effects of protein reduction of IGF-1.


    And, lastly….

    3. When looking at calorie intake or assessing appropriate levels of protein per day, do people use their current weight or their goal weight to establish these numbers…assuming, of course, that weight loss is part of their desired result?

    I can assure you that I’ve searched extensively online for answers to these questions. I also realize that most who contribute here have no medical background (nor do I) but I’m hoping they’ll have a common interest and likely more knowledge than I.


    Hey Rochelle! Of all the things you said before one thing stood out to me as very important: “(I have no health issues – just wanting to eat a healthier diet)”. I’ll try to explain my view on things here, so this is my opinion and not some research 😉

    I don’t think eating a low protein diet is very healthy. Especially if you’re also limiting carbs. It sounds like you’re trying to combine different studies and diets into one “super-diet” or something, but if you do that you might as well stop eating all together.

    Look at it this way. Let’s say the body needs, simply said, nutrients (like vitamins and minerals), fats, protein and carbs (sugar). Because yes, all carbs are sugar in one form or another, even those from whole grain breads and stuff.
    Your body breaks down carbs in order to make energy in the form of glucose which is used by the cells in your body (mainly your brain). The ONLY cells in your body that don’t initially like using fat for energy are your brain and red blood cells, the rest of your body is fine with burning fat. So, that’s what your body uses carbs for.

    Protein is made up of loads of amino acids which your body needs to build up a lot of things, mainly muscle. However when your body feels a scarcity in glucose and really needs it, protein can be converted into glucose! The whole “my body is eating my muscles” holds true, because your body will at some point start breaking down your muscles for energy – but that’s after quite a period of starvation. Anyway, your body NEEDS protein to keep up muscle strength because it can’t make protein from carbs or fat.

    Fat is used by your body as fuel and stuff and isn’t that bad for you as you might think – as long as you eat the right fats, so no transfat and stuff. Anyway, fat isn’t the issue here so I’m not going to get into that.

    I hope the above information has given you a little bit more insight (if you didn’t know all this already). I don’t have knowledge about IGF-1, I look at things in a slightly more simple way – if you eat healthy and balanced your body will be happy and balanced. Your body is built to be healthy, what you put in it makes it so.

    I also hope that you understand that if you start cutting both protein AND carbs, your body will not thank you. Especially protein. You may lower it slightly (I’m not one for the whole “calculate how much protein your body needs” because all bodies are different) but don’t go too far. Cutting carbs is fine as I see it (I do it myself at times as well) because your body doesn’t really need them. Your body DOES need protein though, and cutting both won’t do you any good.

    There. My piece of the cookie so to say. Again, I’m not a doctor, just talking from a lot of experience and self-research with a lot of different diets and working with different professionals! Hope all this chatter made you think at least 🙂

    Hi Rochelle and thank you for your follow up post. I, like Nika cannot help with your IGF question. Research the posts, you will find some info. Check out your TDEE, you can find it on the links on the home page, basically it gives you a “guestimate” of what your daily calorie intake should be based on the answers to some basic questions. Your present weight, I would suggest is a natural starting point for weight loss coupled with an achievable target loss. We all need a level of protein and carb intake that suits us. You are different to me so it is likely our personal intake will be different. Research protein, see exactly what 100 gms in particular meats gives you in terms of what your body needs. On average we all seem to consume more daily protein than we actually need. Remember also that certain non meat foods give up protein, Quinoa for example is a high protein veg based source. A very basic rule of thumb for a decent size portion of meat is to see if it fits the palm of your hand. If it does then that may be fine. Remember, this is a very basic measure. You may be surprised at the size of meat/fish portion required daily to meet your protein intake.All things being equal I use the K.I.S.S. approach, (Keep it Simple Stupid) It works for me but many have more complex issues hence the superb research and comments by other posters.
    Good luck.


    thanks 4 the link

    have u figured it all out?

    Hi Rochelle,

    I was in the same place as you at the beginning of last year after watching Mosley on PBS. I’ve read numerous studies and advices from experts in longevity/low-carbs/paleo/Weston A. Price/CRON/Longo/Fontana/etc. All of which left me with more questions than answers. Here’s what I take from all that: 5:2 diet is OK ’cause in the end it produces less damage to the body and can delay age-related pathologies. It can impact healthspan rather than lifespan. IGF-1 and caloric restriction shows no benefits if not coupled with methionine restriction (methionine= high in all protein may it be animal or soy based with the exception of some seafood like scallops and oysters.). Caloric restriction did little for older subjects tested and was detrimental to health infection-wise. The only major study done on primates was botched (http://www.nature.com/news/calorie-restriction-falters-in-the-long-run-1.11297) (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3832985/) since the diet provided was not the same. The take home message is : Don’t worry, be happy (it lenghtens your telomeres), be a little active, sleep well and often and eat whatever you like without excess (keeping blood sugar low), like those centenarians: http://www.boxingscene.com/nutrition/19840.php . Sorry for my english (I’m french)

    [quote] IGF-1 and caloric restriction shows no benefits if not coupled with methionine restriction[/quote]

    This is interesting, although a bold statement (any reference to back this up precisely?)

    I just read that methionine is very high in eggs, which I eat a lot. *Ugh*.

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