In research published in the journal named Cell Reports, the scientists have efficiently compared the water-only fasting with 4-day cycles of fasting-mimicking diet. They found that the latter successfully reduced IBD in the mouse model.
The scientists observed that the diet decreased inflammation while enhancing the populations of stem cells in the intestines of these mice. Remember that stem cells are extremely important for tissue regeneration and repair.
In addition to this, the team also found that these effects occurred due to an enhancement in the beneficial gut bacteria. Results from the human trials also revealed how diet reduced the markers of inflammation and the related immune cells.
Taking the results together, the researchers found that a low-calorie, fast-mimicking, plant-based diet can be successful in treating IBD.
The author has provided in this study two different worlds of research. The first one is about what you must be eating every day. Many studies prefer a diet rich in nuts, veggies, and olive oil. The second world is fasting and how it affects regeneration, aging, and inflammation.
The reason why water-fasting is not as effective as fast-mimicking diet is that fasting produces a lot of desired effects but the body still requires essential nutrients to do the rest.
IBD and Gut Inflammation
The term IBD refers to two different conditions i.e. ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Inflammation is the main feature in both of these diseases. This inflammation is then used to damage the tissue of the gut.
The main difference between these problems is that Crohn’s can occur anywhere between the anus and mouth while ulcerative colitis mainly occurs in rectum and colon.
While IBD has been considered as an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks your own gut tissue, there have been other explanations.
More recently, one of the reasons regarding the origin of IBD has recently surfaced explaining both ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s as complex barrier disorders.
More recently, however, other explanations about the origins of IBD have emerged, and there is a growing view that Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are “complex disorders.”
IBD and Fast-mimicking Diets
The main researchers have told that while scientists are unable to understand how diet affects IBD completely, diets that change the gut bacteria in ways that trigger inflammation have been linked with IBD development.
For this investigation, the scientists put one group of mice on a low-calorie, fast-mimicking diet and the other group of a water-only fast.
Both groups of mice were suffering from intestinal features of IBD on a long-term basis as a result of treatment with dextran sodium sulphate.
The mice who were on a fast-mimicking diet ate 50 percent of their normal caloric intake for one day and only 10 percent for the next three days. The mice on water-only fast consumed no food at all. They just had water for 48 hours.
The results indicated reductions and even reversals in mice following a fast-mimicking diet with two cycles of 4-day diet followed by resuming the normal food intake.
As compared to this, mice on water-only fasting showed lesser improvements. This suggests that fast mimicking diet has certain nutrients that enhance the effect of fasting on gut bacteria for reducing inflammation.