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December 2020

Understanding the Hype Behind Adele’s Sirtfood Diet

English singer-songwriter Adele has made headlines in recent months for her dramatic weight loss. You might start getting questions about the diet she followed – it’s called the Sirtfood Diet, and it’s getting a lot of press. So what is the diet? And what should you tell patients?

The Sirtfood Diet was developed by Aidan Goggins and Glen Matten – two nutritionists in the UK. The diet emphasizes eating foods that contain sirtuin-activating compounds (STACs) – chemicals that have been shown to activate a group of enzymes called sirtuin, or what the authors of the diet refer to as “the skinny gene.” These foods are called “sirtfoods.” According to the authors, eating sirtfoods activates the same fat burning mechanisms that occur when the body fasts, without the fasting. It’s also been theorized that increasing the activity of certain sirtuins might help treat disease and slow aging. But what does the evidence say?

Unfortunately, there isn’t any clinical evidence to report. In addition to focusing on sirtfoods, the diet also requires significant calorie restriction, particularly in the first week. This calorie restriction is likely to result in short-term weight loss, but it’s unclear what long-term benefits, if any, the diet offers. If patients ask you about this diet, tell them that foods considered “sirtfoods” are certainly healthy and safe options. But there isn’t any clinical evidence supporting the Sirtfood Diet plan. Until more research is available, advise patients to focus on healthy lifestyle choices, and point them towards dietary modifications with more supportive clinical evidence, such as the Mediterranean or ketogenic diets.

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