Fasting-mimicking diet may reverse diabetes
A diet designed to imitate the effects of fasting appears to reverse diabetes, a new USC-led study shows.
The fasting-like diet promotes the growth of new insulin-producing pancreatic cells that reduce symptoms of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes in mice, according to the study on mice and human cells led by Valter Longo, director of the Longevity Institute at the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology.
“Cycling a fasting-mimicking diet and a normal diet essentially reprogrammed non-insulin-producing cells into insulin-producing cells,” said Longo, a professor of biological sciences at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.
By activating the regeneration of pancreatic cells, the researchers were able to rescue mice from late-stage Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. They also reactivated insulin production in human pancreatic cells from Type 1 diabetes patients.
The reprogrammed adult cells and organs prompted a regeneration in which damaged cells were replaced with new functional ones, Longo said.
The study published on Feb. 23 in the journal Cell is the latest in a series of studies to demonstrate promising health benefits of a brief, periodic diet that mimics the effects of a water-only fast.
Reversing insulin resistance and depletion
In Type 1 and late-stage Type 2 diabetes, the pancreas loses insulin-producing beta cells, increasing instability in blood sugar levels. The researchers simulated Type 1 diabetes in mice by administering high doses of the drug streptozotocin— killing the insulin-producing b-cells — and studied mice with Type 2 diabetes, characte Continue reading