Intermittent Fasting and Multiple Sclerosis

Intermittent fasting and multiple sclerosis

Times are changing in nutritional science and this is fairly obvious if you are up-to-date with the effects, caused by dietary guidelines and “balanced diet” in past few decades. It has been reported that cholesterol actually helps with multiple sclerosis; the recent study however suggests that there are benefits of intermittent fasting for the patients with this debilitating disease.

Multiple sclerosis is mostly common in the developed world and all research points to the notion that it is connected to the way we eat and (not) nurture ourselves. A group of American and Italian researchers wanted to know if intermittent fasting could ease the progression and the pathology of multiple sclerosis, so they performed a test on mice.

Two groups were observed for four weeks: one group was prescribed normal food, the other however was fasting every other day. They found out that regular fasting increases the diversity of gut microbiota, enhances its antioxidative potential and directly affects the immune system by resetting the balance between proinflammatory helper T cells and antiinflammatory regulatory T cells. The latter in turn, decreases inflammation and demyelination in the brain. Further more: similar effects can be achieved with fecal transplantation from fasted to non-fasted mice.

Along the mice study, the research group did a pilot study on humans as well and got similar results (Cignarella et al., 2018).

Intermittent Fasting and Multiple Sclerosis

CIGNARELLA, F. et al. 2018. Intermittent Fasting Confers Protection in CNS Autoimmunity by Altering the Gut Microbiota. Cell Metabolism, vol. 27, no. 6, pp. 1222-1235.e1226, DOI: 10.1016/j.cmet.2018.05.006

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