The increasingly older population in most developed countries will likely experience aging-related chronic diseases such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart and lung diseases, osteoporosis, arthritis, dementia, and/or cancer. Genetic and environmental factors, but also lifestyle choices including physical activity and dietary habits, play essential roles in disease onset and progression. Sixty-five percent of Americans diagnosed with cancer now survive more than 5 years, making the need for informed lifestyle choices particularly important to successfully complete their treatment, increase the recovery from the cytotoxic therapy options, and improve cancer-free survival. This review will discuss the findings on the use of prolonged fasting, as well as fasting-mimicking diets to augment cancer treatment. Preclinical studies in rodents strongly support the implementation of these dietary interventions and a small number of clinical trials begin to provide encouraging results for cancer patients and cancer survivors.
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