Earlier research has shown that fasting starves cancer cells but protects immune cells from chemotherapy-induced toxicity.
A new study to be published in Cell Metabolism shows that cycles of a fasting-mimicking diet or FMD, which involved a four-day low-calorie diet, reduced abdominal fat, and improved brain neural regeneration, learning, and memory in rats.
The rats were given a 4-day, fasting-mimicking diet (FMD) every fifteen days.
In older rats, the diet stimulated the immune system, reduced inflammatory diseases, slowed bone mineral density loss, improved cognitive abilities, reduced cancer incidence, and extended life span. The effects were not due to overall calorie reduction because the monthly calorie intake was kept the same.
In a human trial, three cycles of the FMD diet were given once a month for five days. It decreased risk factors and biomarkers for ageing, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Also, there were no major adverse side effects.
Strict fasting, such as a two-day, water-only diet is dangerous to some people and many people find it hard to stick to. So fasting-mimicking diet was developed that gave similar results. FMD reduced the caloric intake down to 34% to 54% percent of normal, but the researchers prepared a specific composition of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and micronutrients.
FMD reduced the levels of hormone IGF-I, which promotes aging and has been linked to cancer risk.
FMD increased the levels of hormone IGFBP-3, which reduced biomarkers and risk factors for diabetes and cardiovascular disease, including glucose, abdominal fat, and C-reactive protein. It did not reduce muscle and bone mass.
FMD reprogrammed the body to age at a slower rate.
FMD also stimulated regeneration.
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- On this website: Benefits of intermittent fasting
First published on: 20th June 2015
Image credit: Tristan Le on Pexels
Last updated on: 21st June 2022