[00:00:00] Detective Ev: Well, hello everyone. Welcome back to another episode of the Health Detective Podcast by Functional Diagnostic Nutrition. My name is Evan Transue, AKA Detective Ev. I will be your host for today’s show on fasting without the fast. We are talking to Dr. William Hsu.
After 20 years of a distinguished career as an endocrinologist at Harvard’s Joslin Diabetes Center, Dr. William Hsu joined L-Nutra in 2019 as Chief Medical Officer. In this role, Dr. Hsu leads the clinical development effort at L-Nutra, oversees the Medical Affairs Department, and advances the education and adoption of fasting and Fasting Mimicking Diet as an innovative tool to extend human health span.
Among his prior roles, he served as Vice President at Joslin Diabetes Center, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School, responsible for its international education and healthcare advisory programs. He served on multiple national-level professional committees, including the American Diabetes Association setting national standards of medical care in diabetes. His previous research interests focused on the pathophysiology of diabetes and the application of digital technology in chronic care.
Dr. Hsu went to Cornell University for college and received his medical degree from Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He completed his Internal Medicine residency training at Yale School of Medicine and completed his fellowship training in Endocrinology and Metabolism at Harvard Medical School.
I guess this guy was just trying to cross off every Ivy League University, right? What’s next Princeton, UPenn? Pretty impressive bio. He was Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Might as well throw in that because this is an impressive guy. He is not someone new to the space.
Mimicking the Fast
This is not someone that got a YouTube education. He is the real deal, focused on the science. With that all said, what we are talking about today primarily is something called ProLon. Now ProLon otherwise known as the Fasting Mimicking Diet, is something that has been well researched for over 20 years, the science behind it has been at least.
What they were basically trying to do is create something that could, as the name implies, mimic the effects of fasting without having the detrimental aspects of fasting. Like I can’t eat anything. I’m not actually getting any nutrients in at the time, missing electrolytes. There’s problems with normal fasting.
I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. We’ve had people on this podcast and I’m not recommending this, but we have had someone who fasted with water for 18 days. I’ve done a three day water fast, myself. You can do these things, but there’s something to be said about doing it in a not so challenging way, if it’s just as effective, if the research backs that up.
Now, the reason I’m super excited for this interview is because the whole way that I got started with working for FDN was from a research and development group originally. I’ve been in FDN for over five years, but I did other things. In this R&D group, what we were doing is testing out these ProLon kits. So myself, Reed Davis, and a few other staff members at FDN were actually going through this together. We were all in a Facebook group and we did the Five-Day Fasting Mimicking Diet program.
The Discovery of Autophagy
We all had varying levels of challenges in terms of like being able to do it. But the main thing was that everyone was able to do it. I thought that was pretty cool. I found it relatively easy because not everyone in FDN does this and that’s okay. But I am someone who practices ketosis. I found it relatively painless to get through this. I actually had a lot going on at the time, too. Not like working 16 hours a day by any means, but there was just family events I had to attend and other things. I actually really floated through those things, no problem. I wouldn’t have ran a marathon at the time, but I felt pretty good.
What this is basically doing is taking advantage of those fasting benefits without having to go through the hell that can come from three to five days of water fasting. What’s most interesting, this is something that really lights me up and I get passionate about, in 2017, there was a gentleman that won a Nobel prize for the discovery of autophagy.
If you’re in our space, our space is kind of new, in a sense. I’m not saying there aren’t some really long-term people that have been in natural and functional medicine. I mean the founder; Reid Davis is one of them. But certainly, I would have to imagine that the bulk of the people that label themselves as being a part of the functional healthcare community have probably come in in the last five to 10 years. So many people miss these big discoveries, or just assume that this is something that has been known about for a while.
Promoting Autophagy with A Research-backed Fast Mimicking Diet
You may have heard of autophagy, and you might have assumed that this has been something that’s been around for a while. Well, of course it literally has been around for a while, but the discovery and the Nobel prize was only one in 2017. What this showed is, the body has this wonderful ability to clean itself from damage.
Now I don’t care whether you are a believer in God, the universe, evolution, all three, two out of the three, one, I don’t care. You can’t not be amazed by certain things like that, that the body actually has this ability when it is under times of not getting enough nutrients that it says, wait a second. Not only am I going to use stored stuff from your own body, I’m going to use the damaged parts so that we can actually clean these cells. And we’re going to use that for energy right now so that you can survive. It’s absolutely fascinating considering how complex the human body is.
Although we are going to get a lot more in the weeds with this today, and really talk about the science of fasting and the things that ProLon does, the fundamental thing that I want to promote, and I’m saying this in the beginning, you got to understand the autophagy aspect. You have to understand that these guys have the research to back up, that they are promoting autophagy with a Five-Day Fasting Mimicking Diet that is safe for the vast majority of people to do, despite the medical condition that they have.
Getting the Benefits of the Fast, Safely, and Quickly
That’s the biggest point. Because if you get someone who’s super sick and you throw them on a three-day water fast to try to get these same benefits, you could really mess that person up. If you do this, there are certain circumstances which it wouldn’t be recommended. Dr. Hsu talks about that, but it’s pretty limited. It is not as many as you would think.
This is allowing people, who otherwise would have to make pretty insane changes over a good long period of time, to actually be able to do this safely, to get access to these healing benefits quicker. It’s an amazing program. If you haven’t heard of it, you’re going to love this episode.
I wanted to hype this up properly and give the proper context because we’re talking to a very intelligent person today, a very well-educated person. I think you are only going to hear about what they’re doing more and more and more as the years go on because there’s nothing out there like this at this time.
Without further ado, let’s get to the episode. All right. Dr. Hsu, thanks so much for being here with us today, man.
[00:06:54] Dr. Williams Hsu: Evan. Thank you. That’s exciting to be here.
[00:06:58] Detective Ev: Yeah, I was just telling you before we got on, and this is going to be relevant for the audience, because a lot of the people that are are listening, Dr. Hsu, sometimes are not in the FDN course yet, or they’re trainees, so they might not know this.
Wanting to Eradicate the Root Problem Leading to Diabetes
A lot of the things that we’re going to talk about today, at least I would love to direct it towards the Five-Day Fasting Mimicking Diet, ProLon. I was actually part of a group for FDN with the founder and stuff (it was one of the first projects I did for them), where we did research and development for ProLon.
We actually had a bunch of people test this out. We all loved it. It was something that we now incorporate in FDN. For those that are listening that are trainees, just so you understand this while you’re listening, you’ll actually be able to get like an account with them. You can get discounts on it. You could use it with clients. I’m getting ahead of myself, of course. But I just want people to know that before we even start today.
Even before we get into ProLon, I’d love to know about you. I mean, what is your background? How did you get to where you’re at today?
[00:07:49] Dr. Williams Hsu: Well, thank you, Evan. I’m an endocrinologist by training. I’m a physician that specializes in the hormone system of the body and specifically it was, I had been working with diabetes actually for about 20 years prior to joining L-Nutra as the Chief Medical Officer.
It was during the times when I was working with patients and doing research that I felt that we don’t really focus on eradicating the root problem that led to diabetes. You know, we have so many options right now in terms of medications, but it’s always after the fact, after the diagnosis made.
Lacking the Pragmatic Tool
Once the diagnosis is made, it’s the same for all the chronic conditions, they’re incurable. Hypertension, diabetes, hyper cholesterol level, then you’re committed to a medication your entire life. So, I wanted to devote my life to something that can address the issue earlier and addressing the root cause. That’s why I joined L-Nutra about three years ago.
[00:08:55] Detective Ev: Cool. I’ve had a lot of doctors on that came from a more traditional Western background and you know, some people end up thinking like you’re thinking and then others don’t. Do you think that what you’re saying is a common thought pattern in most endocrinologists or do some just never even think like this?
[00:09:11] Dr. Williams Hsu: Well, I think the idea isn’t that people aren’t thinking about it. We never really had a tool that was pragmatic. For example, every physician should, or is talking to his or her patients about lifestyle changes because we all know lifestyle medicine really is sort of the crux that could prevent a lot of conditions.
So, it’s not the lack of knowledge, but we never really had a pragmatic tool. If you tell people to change their lifestyle for a good diet every single day, everybody knows, but it cannot be done. You tell people to exercise every single day, everybody knows, but it’s difficult to do.
It’s that separation, that reality of, yes, we should. We know what we should be doing. And number two, the inability for the most of us to implement those recommendations. That was what kept a lot of the doctors from really spending time at addressing the root cause of many of these problems.
Wanting to Get More and Better Results
[00:10:14] Detective Ev: That’s a really good point. I’d like to ask that and hear these perspectives because thankfully our group is really great, Dr. Hsu. I mean, they’re very objective when it comes to Western and functional, no one’s being dogmatic. But clearly in the world of natural medicine and functional a lot, there is this very, in my opinion, unjustified anger, and even sometimes hatred towards Western medicine and Western medicine practitioners.
Now, if you don’t want to like the system, that’s one thing. But when people start attacking like literal doctors who clearly have the best of intentions for people, I don’t think that’s solving anything. It’s just further dividing this and not really helping the clients and patients. It’s good to get your perspective and understand this. You guys want to help.
But, guys, think about it if you’re in the world of FDN. You’re a fulltime FDN if you’re working with like about 15 to 25 clients a month, that is more than a full time living. Think about how many people you could work with in a week compared to us, because it’s a different system, right? It takes a lot of work to guide these people through these lifestyle changes. You know, you have a different job.
[00:11:09] Dr. Williams Hsu: Yeah. That’s why when physicians spend a few minutes with a patient, think about how powerless the clinician feels in terms of imparting those in knowledge and wisdom and try to get results out of it.
Looking for Doable, Pragmatic Solutions
The conventional medicine now, a kind of resource to things, when you take one pill a day, we’re going to see the blood pressure drop. That is unfortunate, but it’s the reality of the time and demands. Therefore, I think the world is looking for new solutions and new lifestyle medicine solutions, new solutions that really addresses the root cause of these conditions. And it has to be doable. It has to be pragmatic.
I think with this whole movement around the understanding of fasting, and not just fasting for a couple hours a day, but the new insight revealed by science has opened up a new generation of followers or innovators in this space. Hopefully we’ll get to talk about it a little bit more.
[00:12:12] Detective Ev: Yeah. Honestly, that’s probably where we’ll transition to next. Cause I think it’s important to talk about fasting in general, before we explain why your guys’ system is actually like this genius way to get people to do something that is normally almost impossibly hard for some people.
I don’t think it’s going to be a walk in the park. This is coming from someone Dr. Hsu, who’s done 72-hour water fasts. I would choose a five-day ProLon fast any day of the week, even though that’s more days, technically. It’s such a different experience.
So, what are some of these benefits of fasting? I mean, I am very big into this. I’ve been intermittent fasting for about six, six and a half years. But I find that there’s still so much confusion about this in the world of functional medicine. What is the interesting research that we’re finding and learning about fasting?
Using the Old, Worn-out, as Fuel for Energy
[00:12:51] Dr. Williams Hsu: First of all, when people hear about fasting, they get scared. They’re like, no, no, no, no. I need to eat. I don’t want to go hungry. I go, hangry, right, when people don’t eat? I think, first recognition, it should be that everybody fasts. When do we fast? When we sleep, we fast. So, it’s not so much that it’s a new activity, it’s actually so built in all the biological systems in the world.
If you look at our environment before we had refrigeration, before we had agriculture, our ancestors used to go through periods of where there was not a lot of food. This was built in. Our ancestors survived during those times when there wasn’t a lot of food. It’s actually not only unique to humans, it happens to all the animals. It happens to all the bacteria. It happens to every living organism.
There were times when there were more times of no food than times of plenty of food. If you think about that, right? How the body adapted to those periods was to say, hey, there’s no food. I have to begin to look for energy source within our own body. So, during fasting, the body looked for fats, for example, as a source of energy.
Each cell also looked for its unique source of energy inside its own, looking for what? Not the most efficient and functional parts of the cell, but the less functional, the older, the more worn-out parts of the cell.
Combining Autophagy and the Fast-Mimicking Diet for Longevity
What does the cell do? Well, it needs to sacrifice those parts for energy because there’s no food coming in. Now that trigger of that self-eating process only comes about when there’s enough stress. So, it’s the stress that forces us, forces the self, forces every single cell of the body to go through that process.
We didn’t know about this. People used just to fast because it was good for them, because it was good for their spiritual pilgrimage, right? A lot of the religions of the world practices fasting.
But now science tells us, for example, in 2016, Professor Ohsumi from Japan actually won the Nobel prize, describing this process where the lack of food for a couple days can trigger this process called autophagy that means self-eating. Science is beginning to leverage our understanding of the mechanism autophagy and this fasting mimicking diet, which we’re going into a little bit later.
The ProLon diet is really designed so that one is able to get the energy from eating some specific nutrients and not triggering the cell’s ability to know that there is energy coming into the body. We could go into that a little bit more. I think we’ve come to a different era where, what nature has designed for us to survive during those times of famine, now we can leverage it to benefit our health and supporting healthy longevity.
[00:16:00] Detective Ev: This is a great description. This is why I don’t understand why people just don’t acknowledge this intuitively. Fasting, you’re right, is scary to a lot of people. It sounds like, whoa, I can’t do that.
Innate Intelligence and the Wonderful Healing Mechanism
But to me it’s like, if you can’t do this, especially the people, Dr. Hsu, that can’t fast for like 24 hours without feeling terrible. I just ask them to think about this. How would you have done in the wild if you couldn’t even fast for 24 hours with being brain fogged, just miserable, low energy, and dizzy? Do you really think your genetics would’ve been passed on?
Because I’m sure we would’ve been not eating for 24 hours or longer all of the time. Like this would’ve happened frequently. Now what’s even more amazing, because one doesn’t necessarily mean the other, just because we would’ve been fasting all the time doesn’t mean that it’s activates this wonderful healing mechanism in the body, but it turns out that it does.
It just shows the innate intelligence that is within our body and other species. Because they have the ability to do this even on yet just the cellular level. I mean, it has nothing to do even with mammals. You can take these steps and step further and see this is almost an inherent part of life where it knew there would be periods where we’re not getting these energy sources.
So, it was smart enough to say, well, wait a second, we better do something useful during that time period then. It turns out it’s one of the most healing things.
Modern Science Hacking Nutrient Sensors
I had someone on this show, that I guarantee, he would not have been able to explain autophagy to you. I don’t mean that in a condescending way. He just wouldn’t have been able to do that. But he fasted at one point, Dr. Hsu, for over, I think it was about 17 or 18 days. It was a water only fast. It was a crazy experiment. I’m not recommending anyone do this. This is not medical advice.
But this guy went from literally having chronic fatigue, getting medically discharged from the military, to being almost completely healed after he did that. I think it just goes to show the power of the body when we activate this stuff. I mean, it’s a really, really amazing thing and discovery of why this works. Cause you’re right, the religions knew. In 2017, that was the big time where we actually understood, wow, this really is that important.
[00:17:53] Dr. Williams Hsu: Yeah. I think for most of our audience that prolonged water fasting, although it potentially could bring a lot of benefits, but for a lot of people could also be unsafe because of their underlying health conditions. So certainly, talk to your doctor about this.
But there are better ways to do this. There are more pragmatic ways to do this. Maybe we could explain and understand this process a little bit better. How do we hack this with modern science?
Because every cell in the body has these ears and eyes, that can sense the level of nutrients. Essentially, we call them the nutrient sensors on the cells on the surface cell. So, each time the cells sense immuno acids, proteins, glucose, carbohydrates, it tells the cells to grow.
Company Restructuring Analogy
Whenever these sensors, these nutrient sensors, don’t see any of these molecules coming into the cells or flowing in the blood stream, it tells the cells to rest, to rejuvenate, to really clamp down. It’s not the time to grow, there’s no nutrients. It triggers these healthy aging processes by rejuvenating and replacing these worn out, older parts of the cells with something new, especially when food eventually comes.
I often use this example like a company. So, a company doesn’t bring revenue in a day. It may not do anything, everybody’s on vacation. That’s fine. But if they don’t bring revenue in about a week, the chief financial officer is going to say, hey, we better get ready.
But what if it doesn’t bring money in a month? Now, what is the executive team going to do? It’s going to say no, no, no, guys. Let’s trim the fat. Let’s go get rid of the least important part of the company, let’s reorg. Right? So, the company then shrinks down. It becomes more efficient, it becomes more functional, it’s able to do the same with less and it becomes more efficient.
Then guess what, when the company eventually turns around, it begins to rebuild again, it’s able now to grow, become more efficient, a more functional company over time. That’s exactly what the body does through times of fasting. When the food is not coming in, the body becomes more efficient. And later on, when the food comes back on, the body grows and becomes strong.
Repeated Cycles of the Fast and the Refeed is Key
It turns out that it’s not just fasting that is the big story, but it’s the repeated cycles of fasting and refeeding. Fasting and then good nutrition afterwards. It is those repeated cycles that became the secret to healthy aging and to cellular rejuvenation. Much like the stories of exercise.
A lot of people say, oh, we should exercise more. But can you imagine exercise 24 hours and no rest? No, it’s actually not right. It’s actually not good for you. It’s the combination of exercising and the rest. The resting allows the muscles to heal, allowing the regrowth and rebuild of these fibers that were torn apart during exercise.
So, it’s really important. It’s not how long you fast, it’s really the repeated cycles of fasting and then good nutrition afterwards. It is that repeated cycle that is so key to healthy longevity and cellular rejuvenation.
[00:21:17] Detective Ev: I think it’s an important point what you said. First of all, that was an excellent analogy with the business. I’ve never heard that used for autophagy and fasting. I will definitely steal that. Thank you.
But it’s an important part to mention about refeeding properly. Because I think what’s happened in the world of intermittent fasting, I know I saw this when I first started, is that people believe, especially if they take it to the extreme ends, if I fast for 23 hours a day and then eat this huge one meal, I can basically just eat crap and have whatever I want. And you know what, depending on the person, it seems like that works for a little bit. You might be able to get away with it for a while.
Levers for Healthy Longevity – Looking First at Nutrition as the Source
But then what eventually happens is, since you weren’t rebuilding, all you’re doing is like, you break down the body, break down the body, break down the body, but then you were never building it back up with the proper vitamins and nutrients. You need that good food. You can’t just fill it up with a pizza afterwards and a bunch of like cakes and candies. That’s not how intermittent fasting was supposed to work.
With L-Nutra and ProLon, specifically, because I think that’s how the world knows it. You know, ProLon the Five-Day Fasting Mimicking Diet, how on earth did you guys figure out how to perfect these macronutrient ratios to basically trick the body?
Because I was very surprised when I did this, how much I could eat, how many carbohydrates I was eating. Typically, I could only do that if I was doing a classic ketogenic diet. I was testing myself, like I have a ketone meter. I was still in ketosis while I did this. It was really amazing.
So how did this all come to be? Because there was a lot of work that went into it from my understanding.
[00:22:42] Dr. Williams Hsu: The credit really goes to Professor Valter Longo, who is the founder of the company, L-Nutra. He is a researcher at the University of Southern California. He’s actually the director of the Longevity Institute at USC.
For a long time, he wanted to really figure out what are the levers for healthy longevity. He began to, just like many other researchers, look at nutrition as the source, cause you are what you eat. Whatever food you put into your mouth has to do something with how well you’re going to live, to stay healthy and live long.
Levers for Healthy Longevity – Looking at Timing of Meals & Thresholds
But I think the conversation really shifted during his tenure at USC. A lot of people debated, what do you eat? You know, how much protein, how much carbohydrate? I mean, that debate still goes on. Right?
But I think one of the most important contributions to this was he began to ask, not just what do we eat, but when do we eat, the timing of our meal? He was able to start looking from single cell organism, like east, all the way to animals like rodents. Then later on in clinical trials in humans, he was able to figure out, everything has a threshold in the biological system.
Remember those nutrient sensors that I spoke about? They also have a threshold. Meaning that, there is a certain amount of nutrients that will trigger these nutrient sensors. But if you get the nutrients below that threshold, you’re able to then trick the body, right? Because you’re not giving too much nutrients. You actually are going under the detection threshold of these nutrient sensors. That way you can have the best of both worlds.
You feed the body with some nutrients, but you are falling below that detection, so you don’t trigger these nutrient sensors. The cells still go into these rejuvenation pathways as if you’re fasting for five days. This is actually a huge breakthrough. It’s 20 years of research, funded by the National Institute of Health and by the European Union. I mean, there’s been about a hundred publications arising from this fasting to mimicking technology.
That’s what gave birth to the ProLon Five Day Fast.
Science Behind the Fast Without Fasting – ProLon
[00:24:56] Detective Ev: That is very impressive how much science you guys do have behind this. Because there’s a lot of claims about which diets or supplements, like autophagy is now becoming a hotter and hotter term. In fact, there’s pharmaceutical companies that are working to create medications to do this in your body when literally we were being able to do this for free, this is just an essential part of living. So, of all the pharmaceuticals I would not recommend, that would probably be one of them.
You could do this with things like ProLon, or just even again, water fasting. But that’s not going to be for everyone, especially the sicker that they are. It could be actually pretty detrimental sometimes.
I’m always impressed by the science behind this and how you guys can actually back this up. Because the reason that you want to do five days, from my understanding, is even when you’re doing a normal fast, the deepest levels of autophagy, isn’t that taking a few days to really kick in? Am I correct in that?
ProLon, The Fast Without Fasting – Losing Weight
[00:25:44] Dr. Williams Hsu: That’s absolutely right. I think while there is a huge movement on the intermittent fasting, it certainly has its benefits, especially with weight loss and metabolic support. But the type of changes we’re talking about deep inside the cells, the cellular benefits and the effects of the autophagy, can only come about when one undergoes fasting for more than two days.
A lot of times I think about this as almost like cleaning. You could do your weekend cleaning, you know, you kind of wipe the table top, you vacuum your carpet. But it’s very different when spring comes, when you do your spring cleaning. Because you take down those curtains, you shampoo your carpet, and that is really the difference between intermittent fasting, with 16/8 or whatever sort of time range you apply, to a five-day ProLon Fast. The difference is really that cellular benefit.
A lot of people, after the five-day ProLon Fast, they experience benefits in oftentimes, I call the four different levels. You’re going through different autophagy.
First of all, you’re going to find that your waistline is smaller. Has to, because the body needs to survive. So, it’s going to tap into the source of fat that’s deep inside the body. It’s going to be the fat in the liver, the fat in the abdomen, we call the central fat, the visceral fat. The fat you really want to get rid of not only because cosmetically, you look better when you get rid of that fat.
But health wise, it’s also the worst fat in the body. When you fast with ProLon, you’re going to lose that central fat number one. So, you experience that physical change right away.
Commercial Break – Try the FDN Course for Free
[00:27:21] Detective Ev: Hey guys, it is Detective Ev popping in here really quick. I will keep this short. If you’re listening to this episode though, and thinking, wow, this is kind of cool that these kits exist. That this is being done and it’s helping people. This is just one of the many perks that we get as FDNs. We can create affiliate accounts with ProLon. We can use it with our clients. We can get discount codes. There are so many supplement companies and lab kits and all these things that we actually have access to as FDNs.
Now, I would not join just for that reason. You want to make sure you’re on par with our philosophy and what we’re trying to do here, but there are cool bonuses that are worth considering. So, maybe if you’ve been on the fence about trying it or are kind of interested, but never really knew where to start, you can go to fdntraining.com/tryfdn that’s fdntraining.com/tryfdn and it will let you try the course completely for free, no credit card required, no trial period, nothing like that. fdntraining.com/tryfdn.
All right, back to the episode.
ProLon, The Fast Without Fasting – Renewed Energy & Better Relationship with Food
[00:28:18] Dr. Williams Hsu: Number two. People often come because of the physical benefit, but they come back over and over again to ProLon because how it makes them feel.
Just remember the religious fasts over the history of humanity. Different religions, people practice fasting in Christianity, in Buddhism, in Islam, in all the major religions, because it helps them focus their mind. People feel better energy after fasts. It feels that they are rejuvenated not only physically, but also mentally and spiritually.
A lot of people come back to the ProLon Fast because the higher energy they feel, the brain fog is gone, they have renewed energy. I think that is something that people don’t emphasize enough. It’s how good one feels after five-day fasts.
Number three. There is a lot of behavior change and also people feel differently, and it changes the way they eat afterwards. Because after five days it changes the relationship you have with your food. Five days without eating your favorite, whatever addiction you have, it just changes that link, that capture of your allegiance to food. It changes that relationship to food.
People feel more confident about how they’re going to be eating in the weeks to come. And that behavior, that self-confidence, the sense of accomplishment, really translates to changes in behavior.
ProLon, The Fast Without Fasting – Autophagy
Then the fourth one, I often talk about, is something you don’t see, but you have to believe in the signs.
That is there is autophagy occurring on every cell of the body. Your cells are rejuvenating, and we have publications to support, for example, the lowering of insulin levels, the global lowering of IGF-1, which is insulin-like growth factors. That reflects that the nutrient status of the body is intentionally dropped which allows every cell in the body to respond to that drop in the nutrient level. It undergoes this autophagy process.
So, four different benefits, four different levels, physiologic, emotional, behavioral, and cellular. I think that’s amazing.
[00:30:29] Detective Ev: It is amazing.
If I’m someone that’s new to this and I don’t know anything about it, and I’m interested now cause I’m hearing all these benefits. It sounds cool. Again, from personal testimonial guys, it’s not a walk in the park. Of course, it’s going to be a little bit of a challenge. That’s the point.
Those are good things in life. But this is significantly easier than the water fast that I have done. I mean, it’s a night and day difference. It’s actually quite enjoyable in a sense. Because once you’re like in the rhythm of it, you feel good. You have good energy still.
So, what will this look like for people? Like I’m someone, I order the kit. I get it. What happens? How often do I get to eat? How much?
ProLon, The Fast Without Fasting – Do It with a Friend
[00:31:01] Dr. Williams Hsu: ProLon is really a five-day meal kit. Just think about this. Professor Longo, when he invented the ProLon, he didn’t want people to fast, because he knew people didn’t want to fast. People want to eat. This is a five-day structural meal plan.
Each day it has a certain number of calories. First day, it’s actually around 1200 calories, quite high. But day two to day five, it drops down to in the seven hundreds. It has carbohydrates in there. It has fats in there, all plant- based. It has soups in there. It has bars in there. They’re all designed with meticulous signs to keep your body in a fasting state, at the same time provide some essential nutrients.
Each day is organized by a box. So, this is day one box, day two box, day three box, day four box, day five box. You just follow instructions. There’s morning, a portion of nutrients, and there is lunch. There’s some snacks and there are all the micronutrients there. It’s really a very complete consideration and design to support you through the five-day fast. It’s that easy. You don’t have to shop, so you actually save your grocery costs when you’re on this five-day fast.
There is a trick, however. I often say, if you want to do this, just remember, find someone to do it with you. It could be a mother. It could be a friend. It’s much easier when you’re trying something new together. It’s like going to yoga class, find a friend, let’s do it together.
ProLon, The Fast Without Fasting – Mentally Challenging
[00:32:30] Detective Ev: I think it’s good that you brought that up. Cause I want to be clear about what I mean when I say it’s still a challenging thing.
When you fast with water, guys, if you’re doing that for 72 hours, that is mentally challenging, of course, but it’s also physically challenging. I would not say in my experience that ProLon was so much physically challenging as it is mentally challenging. We want to go eat whatever we want, whenever we want. We want to eat large amounts of it.
You know, it makes our body feel good and we get all this dopamine released. It’s more of an addiction pleasure-based type thing than anything. It’s not so much that, oh, I can’t do my day or live my life right now. I was able to live my life throughout ProLon. I don’t know that I would go run a marathon, but I was able to do everything else I needed to do.
Whereas a legitimate water fast, I physically can’t even do most things by the time I’m at like 48 hours. I’m not going out, running around, or lifting weights or something. So, it’s the mental side. If you have a partner in this, I think that’s what makes it a lot easier. It was cool because even though, Dr. Hsu, our colleagues, none of us were in person together, we were all remote.
ProLon, The Fast Without Fasting – Clarity & Calmness
But having our little Facebook group where there was like five or six of us or whatever it was, I think it was actually maybe eight people at the time. Every single day, we’re like talking to each other. We had someone coming in on a call, like one of your doctors was hopping in with us talking to us. This was a couple years ago at this point. You’re like, all right. So, this is normal. You know, I’m motivated now. I know there’s these other people counting on me, and they don’t want me to quit either. So, yeah, it does help.
Then once you get over that hump, there’s something beautiful that happens with fasting. It makes it so obvious what all these religions we’re talking about, as you’ve already described. You start feeling that clarity, that calmness. You don’t have that same addictive quality of food. Like, I don’t need that for pleasure. You’re just enjoying life in a different way, and it really can happen relatively quickly. I genuinely believe that.
If I’m not mistaken, don’t you have some type of Facebook group now, too, where people can do these things with others? Is that true?
ProLon, Twenty Days Per Year Equals Everyday Heart Healthy Diet
[00:34:12] Dr. Williams Hsu: We have a fantastic group. It’s called Fastination on Facebook. We have about 27,000 followers in the Fastination Group. Everybody’s cheering each other on. You won’t ever need to do this alone. There are all kinds of tidbits and the people sharing their experiences. Sometimes there’s struggle as well.
Definitely I would invite you to join that Fastination Group. It’s lots of people, like-minded people, just like yourself trying to improve their health.
Let me also mention one thing. We actually have studies to show that just five days of ProLon per month has many of the same benefits of everyday heart healthy diet.
Just think about that. How amazing that research is, five days a month, because ProLon in our clinical trial is five days per month, and you repeat it three to four times in a year. Just that kind of arrangement. We’re talking about five days times four is 20 days in 120 days of four months, right?
Just 20 days of ProLon will give many of the same benefits as an everyday good heart healthy diet. That for modern people who are busy. We all know we got to eat right, but sometimes we don’t, we can’t because of the schedule. We’re traveling, it’s hard to get good food into the body.
Now I’m always for good nutrition every single day. Don’t get me wrong on this. But remember how pragmatic this is. You take five days out of the month. You’re devoted to the ProLon fast. It has many of the same benefits as everyday nutrition.
With ProLon, The Fast Without Fasting – Offset the Negligence
I use another example, and, Evan, you might like this. When I went back to thinking about the days when I went to med school, I knew in my head that I should have studied every single day. I should have done pre-study before I went to lecture. I should pay attention during lecture. I should review at the end of the day. So, when the test came, when the midterm came, I should be prepared every single day.
But, Evan, I have to admit to you that wasn’t the case. What did I do? I crammed about few days before the midterm and the finals. But hey, I made it through, because it was the stress of the exams. I studied, I paid all my attention during those couple days, and it got me through these exams.
Now it’s maybe a little bit similar. You know, we as Americans generally have poor diets. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have 70% overweight prevalence in the society. However, if you’re struggling to eat well every single day, at least spend five days a month, maybe just three, four cycles in a year, that’s all you need. It can offset many of the negligence that we did to our body.
That’s the beauty of applying science to what the nature has designed through these ProLon Fasts.
With ProLon, The Fast Without Fasting – Get a Break from Orthorexia
[00:37:13] Detective Ev: I, 100% agree with this. I think that is a very practical way to apply this to people’s daily lives. Listen, I’ve seen this myself. Cause I’m someone, I practice, obviously, like I said, fasting. I’ve done ProLon, and I do keto, and a true keto that actually gets me into that real state.
What I have found, the longer that I do this, Doctor Hsu, is despite being very sick at one point in my life and having a lot of restrictions, I couldn’t eat certain foods without getting a reaction, I felt terrible, I’d break out from everything, I am able to quote/unquote, “cheat” on that other diet a lot more now.
It seems this is how the body’s designed. It actually takes quite a while for most of us to really truly get sick. But this ability that we’ve been given to heal is way more rapid than the time it takes to get sick. Actually, we can get well way quicker than we can get sick, if that makes sense to people.
That’s why what you’re saying, I think, actually has a lot of validity. No one here is suggesting the other 25, 26 days outta the month go eat McDonald’s every day, no one. But the point is when you do something like ProLon, I absolutely believe it gives us an opportunity to take a very legitimate break from the extreme perfectionism, almost orthorexic type tendencies that a lot of us in the functional space develop because we have been so sick.
ProLon, The Fast Without Fasting – Has a Universal Application
I’m not saying it’s not valid at a time, but many people lose the ability to get out of that. I was in that boat. I’m three years down the road, still as restricted as I am before. I’m like, Evan, you’re trying to heal. Why would you need to be eating the same way right now as of three years ago? You just have to learn to balance that better. And ProLon is a way to balance it very well.
[00:38:45] Dr. Williams Hsu: Maybe let’s speak to those who are saints among us, that eats right, exercise every day. There’s still room for you to do ProLon because that deep cleanse, that deep rejuvenation, is not something that you can trigger just from everyday diet.
Even for those who do well every single day, you still find that cellular rejuvenation that comes from ProLon to be something that can add onto your routine. We’re talking about three to four cycles per year can bring that benefit. It really is such a pragmatic solution for those who don’t eat well and for those who eat well and take care themselves. I think ProLon has that universal application.
[00:39:29] Detective Ev: We already discussed how an extremely sick person, especially if they’re super overweight, they’re insulin resistant, there’s benefits to minor fasting, and maybe you can do more over time. Not everyone on this planet should be going out and just randomly doing a five day water fast. That’s not a good idea. That is going to affect some people negatively for sure.
Is there anyone that cannot do ProLon? I feel like you guys have done a really good job at creating a safe barrier for even really sick people to be able to do this.
General Guardrails for ProLon Participation
[00:39:56] Dr. Williams Hsu: We are an extremely responsible company. On our website, on our product, we always say, if you are underweight, don’t do it. It’s just not time to where you want to have even further energy deficits. Body mass index of less than 18, I think that is not something that you should be trying to fast.
Also, many people struggling with eating disorder. I think even trying ProLon can trigger some of those behaviors. Let’s stay away from that. Certainly, this is for adults because children, I think, one will have to speak to the physicians and then we don’t apply this product to minors.
On the upper level of the age spectrum, we generally say 70 years old. But as you and I know, there are some 70-year-olds who are stronger and healthier than 50-year-olds and vice versa. It really needs to be individualized. Know your own health condition. Talk to your physician if you’re age 70 and above.
These are sort of the general guardrails. You know, everyone’s health is different. Everyone’s condition is different. I think speaking to healthcare providers about whether you are a candidate for a ProLon Fast, I think, is always in order.
Goal of Healthy Aging? Do The Fast Three to Four Cycles Yearly
[00:41:09] Detective Ev: Well, speaking of 70 year olds, our founder either is 70, or he is like 69. He is very close, but you would never know it. He has successfully done ProLon, I think, at least three times now. Because when he does something, man, it’s game over. Like he’s going to do it right.
If I’m not mistaken, I’m even guilty of this. He was the only person, I think, in our R&D group who actually did exactly what you guys said, do this one time for this month and then do it a second and third. He really loves it.
Just to be clear, cause I felt benefits from it. There are some benefits from just doing this even one time. I mean, what’s the difference between someone that does this one time versus once a month for three, four months straight? Because I feel like maybe I can get a lot better results and now I kind of want to do this. I want to do that experiment.
[00:41:50] Dr. Williams Hsu: We have studies with one cycle, three cycles, four cycles, six cycles, and 12 cycles. We have done all these studies. What we’ve learned is it is incremental. The benefits it’s incremental.
Remember as I said earlier, it’s really the repeated cycles of fasting and the nourishment. Fasting and nourishment, that was really the key to healthy aging. If your goal is really healthy aging, staying younger longer, looking for that deep cellular cleanse that deep cellular benefits, then I think you really want to go for three to four cycles a year.
ProLon, The Fast Without Fasting – Get the Optimal Benefits
Now that’s what our studies have shown. With one cycle, obviously, you’re going to experience the weight loss. You’re going to experience the mental clarity, the energy. You’re going to experience all that. But there’s nothing you do in life that only takes once. You know, you could work out once and your benefit, it’s going to require you to repeat that exercise.
I think the same with the ProLon Fast. I would suggest that for most people, three to four cycles per year, to make a commitment three to four cycles per year. That is what the studies have shown to generate the optimal benefits. There are going to be specific individuals with specific health targets that may require more cycles, but we would ask you to be under the care of a physician when you’re doing more cycles.
[00:43:11] Detective Ev: I guess then in a perfect world; everyone would be doing this just about every other month for the rest of their lives. It’d be kind of a great way to hack some of the things that are going on in today’s world. Again, it’s just a much gentler, nicer way to fast.
I think even if they don’t actively practice it, Dr. Hsu, I would imagine I could get everyone that listens to this podcast to agree that human beings are supposed to be fasting and going through these cycles. But whether they actually do it or not is a whole different story. I feel like this is one of the most straightforward, simple ways that we’re going to get to be able to do this stuff.
ProLon, The Fast Without Fasting – The One Day Kit
If I may add, I also notice now, I don’t think you guys had this back when I did it. You have these one day kits now where someone can do this for just one day. What’s the benefit of that? Because obviously that’s kind of the equivalent of like exercising one time. I imagine that’s only so much benefit.
Is that more just to prep them psychologically and get them warmed up for something bigger? Why do you have the one day one?
[00:44:03] Dr. Williams Hsu: Some people are saying, five days, I’m not ready to take on that challenge. We also know, for example, many people practice intermittent fasting. 5/2 for example, in the literature, has been shown to be helpful for metabolic support for weight loss.
What that is, is some people choose two days out of the week, non-consecutively, to fast for those two days. So instead of fasting five days straight, these are called 5/2 intermittent fasting. So those two days out of the week where they are fasting, they can use our one-day kit called reset.
It’s all the same technology, the same fasting mimicking technology out of the university of Southern California, Valter Longo’s lab. It’s the same technology.
ProLon’s Fasting Bar
We also have something called the Fasting Bar. That is also designed for intermittent fasters. For example, if you say you want to wake up in the morning, you don’t want to eat. You get hungry, and want to extend that overnight fast, let’s say, overnight fast of 12 hours, but you really wanted to do 16 hours or 18 hours. You could eat that bar and because of the fasting mimicking property of the bar, it’s going to keep your body in the fasting state.
It’s really a pragmatic solution for those who might want to do intermittent fasting like 16/8. Or some people might want to do 5/2, 5 days of normal eating, two days of fasting. Or for people who wanted to do that ProLon periodic fasting, that cellular, deep regenerative fasting of ProLon of five-day ProLon Fast.
We are trying to really fit everybody’s needs by providing these fasting mimicking products. Hopefully everybody can find the product that will suit their needs and their personal taste.
[00:45:44] Detective Ev: Very cool. I didn’t even think about that from the context of the 5/2. I’ve heard of the 5/2 before, but it’s been a while since I’ve talked to someone who actually does it. So that’s interesting to know that there’s people out there doing that and using it for this reason. That’s pretty cool.
We have like about six minutes left, so of course I’m going to ask where people can find this and you. But before we get to that, I just want to know, because you’ve worked with this for a long time. What’s like a really cool success story that you guys maybe like share around the office?
ProLon, The Fast Without Fasting – Aspiration & Consumer Report
Like someone that had a really dramatic healing result from this. And I’m not saying that this can be the expectation for everyone. That’s my disclaimer. But I’m just curious if there’s anyone that’s had like some very profound results more than you even expected.
[00:46:22] Dr. Williams Hsu: Because we are a consumer product and I don’t want to dive into many of the clinical states, there are many people with those experiences. But I would just say that maybe I’ll point out two things.
L-Nutra is so committed to research and development, we are now looking at the same technology with regards to its application in diabetes, it’s application in cancer, it’s application in autoimmune conditions. Now that is the dream of our founder. That’s actually the mission of our company to really take food and then turn it into medicine. We still got a way to go, but this is where we’re seeing amazing potential applications.
I’m not advertising the use of our product for disease conditions. That’s not what I’m doing here. I’m talking about the aspiration of the company where we want to go. To uncover the true potential of lifestyle medicine and to turn that into therapeutic agents. That’s what I think the most amazing stories that we’ve heard. But again, we need signs. We need clinical trials. We need to go through the correct regulatory pathway so that dream can be fulfilled.
But on the everyday level, people are telling us they feel better. People are telling us they’re losing weight. People are telling us they’ve never felt as good since they have tried the ProLon Fast. They have really experienced a change in their mindset, change in their behavior. I think that alone brings so much joy and satisfaction to us.
Where to Find ProLon and Dr. Hsu
You know, as researchers, as a company that brings good nutrition to the world, we are actually a fasting nutrition company. We don’t just want people to go out and fast because we think it’s too difficult and too much safety issues there. We’re a fasting nutrition company. We actually want people to eat during this period. How do we leverage the signs to uncover what nature has designed for us? If we can bring this to as many people as possible, I think our mission would be fulfilled.
[00:48:33] Detective Ev: Awesome. Dr. Hsu, do you have any personal social media where people can find you and follow you?
For information about ProLon, please go to prolonfmd.com.
Health Detective Podcast Signature Question
[00:49:12] Detective Ev: Now, Dr. Hsu, I have my final signature question on the Health Detective Podcast that we’ll wrap up with. And I’m laughing because normally people throw me off with how they answer this one, I can’t normally tell. I would imagine, and rightfully so, that I might be able to guess the answer to this one, but I will ask, nonetheless.
The question is, if I could give you a magic wand, and you could get every single person in this world to do one thing for their health, whether that’s literally do one thing or stop doing one thing, what is the one thing you’d get them to do?
[00:49:41] Dr. Williams Hsu: It’s easy for me. I think the science has shown over and over again, Five-day ProLon Fast, three times a year. It will do wonders for your health. 15 days of effort in 365 days in a year.
Think about that. Three, five-day cycles of ProLon. You will be amazed what it can do for you. A little bit of a break, a little bit of a fast, can do wonders for your health.
[00:50:12] Detective Ev: All right, guys. That’ll do it for today’s episode with Dr. William Hsu. Perhaps one of the most credentialed people we’ve ever had on here, in terms of the Ivy Leagues, for sure. I mean this guy, again, he’s just crossing them off his checklist. Who knows what he’s got next?
I hope that you enjoyed today’s episode. And if you do like the information that we’re sharing, please consider leaving us a five-star review on Apple and or Spotify. If you’d be kind enough to do that, we would love you even more than we already do.
My next interview is actually with a great friend of mine. I think I said this accidentally last time in the last outro. But he’s a great friend of mine and he is a physical therapist that has a very functional mentality. I think you guys are going to really like this, cause we haven’t had anyone ever like him come on in 160 plus episodes. Stay tuned for that. Make sure you’re subscribed, if you’re not.
I will talk to you guys then. Take care.
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