Researchers have been able to reverse symptoms of diabetes and restore pancreas functions in mice by putting them on a version of the fasting-mimicking diet. The diet tricks the body into a fasting mode for a few days a month, even while carefully selected foods are still being eaten, and it could be enough to reboot the organ’s key functions and restore insulin production, scientists say. Diabetes occurs when the pancreas cannot make insulin type I or is damaged by insulin resistance type II, and the team from the University of Southern California says the diet reversed symptoms of both types of diabetes in mice. In humans, the fasting-mimicking diet has been credited with helping people lose weight more effectively, and previous studies have also linked it to reducing risk factors for diseases like heart disease and cancer. The diet has also been credited with reducing the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis, so it’s earning quite a reputation amongst scientists. In each case starving the body seems to reset the production of healthy cells. In the latest study, mice were put into the artificial fasting mode for four days a week over a period of several months.
A special type of fasting diet may help restore function to the pancreas in people with diabetes, according to a recent study. Testing the diet in mice was shown to reverse symptoms of diabetes. Health experts note that the findings are very exciting, as they could open up new treatment methods for diabetes. However, individuals with diabetes should not attempt this diet without medical supervision. More human trials are needed to determine if the diet — referred to as a fasting mimicking diet — is a suitable approach for treating diabetes in humans. In the animal studies, mice were put on a species-appropriate version of the diet. A similar diet for humans consists of five days of plant-based foods that are low in calories and protein, but high in unsaturated fat. The human version of the diet consists of approximately calories the first day and calories the remaining 4 days. Research has also suggested that the diet can slow the effects of aging. In the diabetes study, the diet was given to mice with type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Both groups saw improvements in insulin secretion and blood glucose control. The diet was shown to regenerate cells in the pancreas known as beta cells, which are responsible for releasing insulin when blood sugar levels increase.
Metrics details. Fasting and especially intermittent fasting have been shown to be an effective intervention in many diseases, such as obesity and diabetes. The fasting-mimicking diet FMD has recently been found to ameliorate metabolic disorders. The diet was administered every other week for a total of 8 weeks. The FMD also reduced hepatic steatosis in the mice. In addition, the FMD led to the reconstruction of gut microbiota. The changes in these bacteria were also correlated with the fasting blood glucose levels of the mice. In conclusion, our study provides evidence that the intermittent application of an FMD is able to effectively intervene in the progression of diabetes in mice. Animals, including humans, have evolved physical adaptations to periodic long-term fasting and short-term feasting due to the scarcity of available food in the environment. Some animals become dormant during extended periods of food deprivation. While some animals hibernate during extended periods of food deprivation, a principle adaptation to fasting observed in humans is the development of energy depot organs, such as fat and the liver, to efficiently preserve energy acquired during feeding for survival.