Dietary change alone is insufficient to trigger autophagy because the human body can simply shift to converting muscle and amino acids into energy. Taking that concept into biomedical research has yielded a breakthrough: This past May the mTOR inhibitor everolimus was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of advanced pNET, the first drug in this class approved for this disease.
With few facts available, we can only speculate about whether the approach that Jobs took early on had any impact on his survival. Medical and TCM professionals tend to agree that it's unlikely that they did any real harm, and in another context—as part of a preventative or recovery regimen, or alongside medical care—some of these measures can improve one's overall health.
Kobrin says that the scientific evidence confirming that benefit may be elusive for philosophical reasons at the core of conventional and alternative medicine, which both offer an "understanding of the human through [a different] paradigm." For now, the evidence remains anecdotal and alternative practitioners tend to point to thousands of years of Eastern medical history, and to individual patients. Or as Abrams puts it: "The proof is that so many of my colleagues continue to refer their patients to me."