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Study Demonstrates How Fasting-Mimicking Diet Suppresses Diabetes

February 23, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. researchers have developed a diet food available commercially that imitates the effects of fasting and appears to reverse diabetes. Earlier studies have shown that periodic cycles of fasting reprogram pancreatic cells and restore insulin production. The new study in mice shows that a fasting-like diet (using a food product called L-Nutra) promotes the growth of insulin-producing pancreatic cells. The researchers placed diabetes-model mice on the L-Nutra diet for four days each week. The diet switched on genes that spur production of a protein (neurogenin-3) that, in turn, generated healthy, insulin-producing beta cells. The mice regained healthy insulin production, reduced insulin resistance and demonstrated more stable levels of blood glucose. The researchers look forward to a clinical trial of L-Nutra among diabetics. [ L-Nutra/Prolon diet package, image credit: © Prolon ]
Chia-Wei Cheng et al., "Fasting-Mimicking Diet Promotes Ngn3-Driven b-Cell Regeneration to Reverse Diabetes", Cell, February 23, 2017, © Cheng et al.
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