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02-24-2017 | Diet | News

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Fast-mimicking diet regenerates pancreas in diabetic mice

medwireNews: Results from an animal model indicate that a fasting-mimicking diet (FMD) has profound effects on pancreatic cells, reversing diabetes in mouse models of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

The type 1 diabetes mouse model is based on depletion of beta cells by high-dose streptozotocin; however, the researchers also show that a cell culture serum replicating the conditions of the FMD caused increased insulin production in pancreatic cells taken from patients with type 1 diabetes.

The research, which is published in Cell, comes from Valter Longo (University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA) and co-researchers, the same group that recently published a randomized trial of FMD in human participants.

Six to eight cycles of a low-protein, low-sugar FMD on 4 days of each week returned blood glucose levels to nearly normal in the type 1 diabetes model, and also in a mouse model of late-stage type 2 diabetes. In both models this occurred thanks to a marked decrease in the number of dedifferentiated cells within pancreatic islets and a corresponding increase in the number of fully differentiated beta cells.

This was accompanied by altered gene expression in the pancreatic islets, so that it resembled that seen during embryonic and fetal development, leading the researchers to propose pharmacologic manipulation of these patients with type 1 diabetes patients.

And in a press statement, Longo called for a large trial of FMD in diabetes patients, saying that, hopefully, they could follow the FMD “for a few days each month and gain control over their insulin production and blood sugar.”

By Eleanor McDermid

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2017