Fast mimicked diet reduces ageing in mice: New study


A Somali woman showing signs of ageing. Photo Credits: Trocaire on Flickr

Photo Credits: Trocaire on Flickr

A new research has shown that calorie restricted food that mimics prolonged fasting (PF) can regenerate and promote longevity in mice.

A new research by University of Southern California has found that feeding mice with calorie restricted food that mimics fasting for just 4 days produced results – encouraged regeneration in multiple organs/systems and increased longevity.

In a pilot clinical trial, the researchers followed three cycles of Fasting mimicked diet (FMD) – five days of calorie restricted diet once a month for three months, on mice, and found the results to decrease risk factors for ageing, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and even cancer.

Then they conducted the same three cycles of FMD on 19 people and found the results to have positive effects on ageing and health related risk elements, as well.

Valter Longo, a scientist who has joint engagements at the USC Davis School of Gerontology and USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Science, along with his colleagues had earlier stated that PF increases stress resistance of cells by reducing the levels of certain molecules and proteins related to growth and ageing. However, PF also has adverse effects such as malnutrition, low blood pressure, and intervention in normal body functioning.

Therefore, the researchers opted for this calorie restricted diet that mimics fasting, and provides the latter’s uses too.

When they fed mice this FMD, commencing at middle age for just four days, twice a month, stem cell numbers increased significantly and several cell types – such as bone, liver, brain, muscle and immune cells, were regenerated. Such regenerative effects were not seen in chronic or short-term dietary restriction conducted earlier. Moreover, the rodents also showed better health and extended lifespan, besides benefits like decreased inflammatory diseases and cancer, less bone loss and improved memory and learning, without the loss muscle mass.

The researchers chose rodents for the experiments because they have short lives, thus show effects of ageing quickly. The results of clinical trial could be seen on them within a few weeks instead of waiting for years unlike other mammals.

The main aim of the researchers in this study is to find ways to examine cancer. As said in the above article that unlike rodents it takes years to find the results on other mammals, strong evidence hasn’t been acquired yet to prove the positive impacts of FMD on human beings. The research paper was published in the journal “Cell Metabolism”.

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