A team of researchers from the University of Southern California applied a version of the fasting-mimicking diet on mice to see what advantages this type of diet might bring. They noticed that it reversed diabetes symptoms and restored the functions of the pancreas.
What does this diet do that is so miraculous? It is able to trick the body and make it think it is in a fasting mode, while the one who keeps the diet can still eat certain foods that have been carefully selected. Scientists think that this might be enough to reprogram the functions of the organs and restore the production of insulin.
The researchers stated that this diet was able to reverse the symptoms of diabetes in mice. Valter Longo, the leader of the research team, explained that they pushed the mice into some sort of extreme state and this made the pancreas cells undergo some sort of reprogramming.
The history of the fasting-mimicking diet in humans shows that it constitutes a quicker and more effective way to lose weight. Also, it can reduce the risks of developing heart disease or cancer. Some previous research found that it might be good in reducing the symptoms of multiple sclerosis.
Thus, it appears that the fasting-mimicking diet acquired quite a scientific reputation. Studies show that starving the body triggers a reprogramming in the production of healthy cells.
This new study used mice and put them in the artificial state of fasting for four days every week over a few months. The researchers discovered that this was enough to trigger the regeneration of beta cells in pancreas. These are the cells that are responsible with producing, storing, and releasing the insulin.
The researchers also took pancreatic cells from humans suffering from type I diabetes and experimented this type of fasting on them. They noticed that the cells started producing more quantities of insulin and Ngn3 protein, which provide a normal functioning of the pancreas.
We are on the right way, but people should not get overexcited yet. The tests were performed only on mice and human cells in lab conditions, so there no 100 percent certainty that such a diet can be used to treat diabetes.
Moreover, the diet works only with certain types of food and exact amounts of calories, so there is still need for medical evidence before people could start applying fasting-mimicking diets at home.
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