Experts have warned about how the 5:2 diet may make you live longer, but it could also leave you more susceptible to infection.
The diet, which involves eating next to nothing for two days during the week is said to lower blood pressure, but scientists from the University of Bath have been testing on fruit flies over the last year, and they’ve found that the diet can lead to a 20% increase in infections.
The leader of the study Dr Nick Priest, a lecturer in biology and biochemistry said:
“We know that certain stresses such as starvation or exposure to pathogens can extend life and increase fertility, but we have found that ironically this has a trade-off in terms of immune function.
“Our findings are not all that surprising. We have known for decades that starved mice are more likely to succumb to serious infections.”
“But, there has been a lot more interest in the short term benefits than potential long-term costs.”
“There are clear health benefits to diets such as the 5:2 regime, but we need to bear in mind there are side effects.
“It shows that even the fountain of youth should come with a warning label.”