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Does a fasting mimicking diet even reverse diabetes?
Is it possible that a special form of fasting helps regenerate the pancreas? Researchers have now found that a fasting mimicking diet can actually lead to pancreatic regeneration and possibly even reverse diabetes.
The University of Southern California researchers found that fasting can help regenerate the human pancreas and possibly even reverse diabetes. The doctors published the results of their study in the journal "Cell".
Researchers are modifying the fasting mimicking diet
A special form of diet tries to combine the benefits of fasting without its risks. Researchers have now investigated the effects of a modified version of the so-called Fasting Mimicking Diet (FMD) on mice, but also on human cells.
First successes achieved in mice
The results of the study showed that cycles of this diet can regenerate pancreatic cells and lead to the recovery of insulin in type 1 diabetes patients. The experts say that type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes could be reversed in mice. In contrast to type 2 diabetes, type 1 diabetes is a so-called autoimmune disease. In patients with type 1 diabetes, the pancreas stops producing insulin.
Special form of nutrition helps with the regeneration of organs
The fasting mimicking diet could also help regenerate other organs because studies have shown similar effects on blood cells, explains author Dr. Valter Longo. According to the expert, the results indicate that special diets with very specific compositions can lead to regeneration processes in mice and possibly also in humans.
Effects of modified FMD
Taking into account the challenges and side effects of fasting in humans, Dr. developed Longo and his team have a modified low-calorie, low-fat diet with low protein and carbohydrates. This diet causes changes in the concentrations of specific growth factors, glucose and ketone bodies. In addition, it reduces blood sugar levels in pre-diabetic patients, the doctors explain. When mice received such a diet, they improved their glucose and insulin tolerance.
FMD reprograms cells and beta cells
The pancreas usually helps control blood sugar levels. Regeneration of the pancreas can cause the symptoms of diabetes to reverse, the researchers explain. Cycles of the so-called fasting mimicking diet help the pancreas to regenerate itself by reprogramming cells into beta cells. These then produce insulin. The results of the current study are very interesting because pancreatic cells normally only replicate in the adult pancreas at an extremely low rate and tissue regeneration rarely occurs, the doctors say.
Special nutrition restores reduced insulin resistance in mice
The FMD cycles saved the mice from the late stage of type 2 diabetes because they restored insulin secretion and reduced insulin resistance, the experts explain. This led to a significant improvement in the survival of the mice, the study authors report. (as)