A calorie-restricted diet which mimics the effects of fasting may reverse the symptoms of multiple sclerosis and help repair the damage caused by the disease. The regime simply involves cutting normal calorie counts in half for three days in every seven.
Scientists from the University of Southern California showed that, in mice, the Fasting Mimicking Diet (FMD) significantly lowered the percentage of damaging immune cells, a result of multiple sclerosis, while allowing the protective coating to regrow.
For the first part of the study, researchers put a group of mice with autoimmune disease on a fasting-mimicking diet for three days, every seven days for three cycles, with a control group on a standard diet for comparison.
Results showed that the fasting-mimicking diet reduced disease symptoms in all the mice and cured 20 percent completely. They also saw a reduction in the inflammation-causing cytokines – proteins that order other cells to repair sites of trauma, infection or other pain. And they found that white blood “T cells,” responsible for immunity were boosted.
Human multiple sclerosis patients who were put on the diet also reported improved quality of life and scored better on the Extended Disability Status Scale (EDSS) which assesses movement, tremors, speech and swallowing.
The research was published in the journal Cell Reports.
Source: The Telegraph