March 19, 2018
Fasting-Mimicking Regenerates Pancreas, Eliminates Diabetes in Lab Mice
"Medically, these findings have the potential to be very important because we've shown — at least in mouse models — that you can use diet to reverse the symptoms of diabetes. Scientifically, the findings are perhaps even more important because we've shown you can use diet to reprogram cells without having to make any genetic alterations."
How Does the Fasting-Mimicking Approach Work?
Calorie Restriction Also Shows Promise for Huntington's Disease
"We know specific aspects of autophagy don't work properly in patients with Huntington's disease. Our findings suggest, at least in mice, when you fast, or eat at certain very regulated times without snacking in between meals, your body starts to increase an alternative, still functional, autophagy mechanism, which could help lower levels of the mutant huntingtin protein in the brain."
Multiday Water Fasting Is Another Great Metabolic Intervention
"After two or three days of fasting, you get your energy from two different sources simultaneously. A very small part of your energy comes from breaking down your muscles — but you can avoid this by doing some resistance training … The majority of your energy comes from breaking down fat.
But very soon, you move into getting all your energy from the breakdown of fat. The fat molecules break down into two separate chemicals — glycerol (which can be converted into glucose) and free fatty acids (which can be converted into other chemicals called ketones). Your body, including your brain, can run on this glucose and ketones until you finally run out of fat.
In humans, fasting seems to have health benefits for high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma and epilepsy in children. In animals, fasting seems to reduce the cognitive decline that happens in conditions such as Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease."
Health Benefits of a Fasting-Mimicking Style of Eating
- C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation
- Fasting glucose
- Insulin-like growth factor 1, a marker associated with increased mortality and DNA damage
- Stem cells and regenerative markers
- Reduces cancers by nearly 50 percent
- Delays cancer onset and results in more benign tumors than malignant ones
- Improves your cognition and markers for aging
- Strengthens your immune system, which is transformed to a more youthful state
- Lowers risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes
Fasting-Mimicking Boosts the Effectiveness of Treatment for Malignant Disease
"This has been a difficult battle. We work with the top oncology hospitals in the world: MD Anderson, Mayo Clinic [and] USC Norris Cancer Center … we really didn't want to be the rebels … We fought very hard, but also, we wanted them to agree with us. We wanted the oncologists to basically say, 'Yes. This [diet] is a good way to do it.'
The safety concerns … are really minimal and the potential benefits are very high … In mice, we consistently see cancer-free survival even in the metastatic models."
Important Cautions About Fasting
Anorexic or seriously underweight
Pregnant or breastfeeding
Fragile or in ill health
Taking medication, especially if it must be taken with food
Have liver or kidney disease
Taking an antihypertensive or hypoglycemic medication, due to the risk of overdosing
More than 70 years of age, unless you're exceptionally healthy