A short-term protein-free diet or one missing a single amino acid can protect against stress experienced during surgery, suggests a study conducted in mice (Peng W et al. Sci Transl Med. 2012;4:118ra11).
Dietary restriction is known to extend life span and increase resistance to multiple forms of acute stress in experimental mammals. Studies in nonmammalian organisms indicate that nutrient restriction rather than calorie restriction per se may be key to the benefits of dietary restriction.
Hampton T. Presurgery Diet. JAMA. 2012;307(9):904. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.222