We all complain about upset stomach from time to time. Some of the most common tummy troubles are indigestion, constipation, bloating, acidity and nausea. Keeping our stomach healthy and happy is of utmost importance in order to ensure our overall well-being. The food that we eat, if not digested well, may trigger various diseases, which may make your digestive system even more fragile. But if you follow a low calorie diet that “mimics fasting”, then it may help reduce intestinal inflammation, improve the gut and aid inflammatory bowel disease (also known as IBD). According to the researchers from the University of Southern California, a “fasting-mimicking diet” helps in reducing stomach troubles like intestinal inflammation; additionally, the diet is capable of increasing the production of intestinal stem cells and beneficial gut microbiota.
Continuous cycles of the fasting-mimicking diet triggered stem cells and led to a recovering effort in colon and small intestine. It was observed that mimicking fasting helps improve body functions, but it was the “re-feeding” that helped in rebuilding cells and tissues. “The study determined that the dietary components are contributing to the beneficial effects, it’s not just about the cells of the human body but it’s also about the microbes that are affected by both the fasting and the diet,” said Valter Longo, Professor at the varsity. “The ingredients in the diet pushed the microbes to help the fasting maximise the benefits against IBD,” he added.
The researchers of the study, published in Cell Reports journal, carried out clinical trials where one group of mice consumed fasting-mimicking diet for four days. On the first day, mice consumed approximately 50 percent of their regular caloric intake and 10 percent of their regular caloric intake from the second through fourth days.
The other group of mice adhered to fasting with a water-only diet for two days. “The two cycles of a four-day fasting-mimicking diet followed by a normal diet appeared to be enough to mitigate some, and reverse other, IBD-associated symptoms. While, the water-only fasting showed that certain nutrients in the fasting-mimicking diet contribute to the microbial and anti-inflammatory changes necessary to “maximise the benefits against IBD,” Longo said.