Newly Published Study in Mice Finds a Fasting Mimicking Diet May Reduce or Reverse Inflammatory Bowel Disease Symptoms

March 12, 2019 17:04 UTC

In mice and human cells, periodic cycles of fasting-like conditions appear to trigger intestinal regeneration more effectively than water-only fasting

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- A team of researchers from the University of Southern California (USC) has published a peer-reviewed study in the current issue of the international scientific journal Cell (Cell Reports 26, 2704–2719 March 5, 2019), which found that administration to mice of cycles of a version of a Fasting Mimicking Diet (FMD) can exert beneficial effects for inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). IBD include conditions such as Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC), which are associated with acute and chronic inflammation of the intestines.

In the study, the effect of four-day fasting-mimicking diet cycles was tested in mice. One group of mice adhered to a four-day fasting-mimicking diet by consuming approximately 50 percent of their normal caloric intake on the first day and 10 percent of their normal caloric intake from the second through fourth days. Another group fasted with a water-only diet for 48 hours.

The FMD cycles reduced intestinal inflammation, increased intestinal stem cells, stimulated the growth of protective microbial populations and helped to reverse IBD pathology. This compared favorably to the testing of water-only fasting, which increased regenerative and inflammatory markers without reversing IBD symptoms.

The study, led by Professor Valter Longo at the Longevity Institute at USC’s Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, concluded that, “the effects of FMD cycles on microbiota composition, immune cell profile, intestinal inflammation, intestinal stem cell levels and the reversal of IBD pathology in an induced colitis model in mice, suggest that practicing an FMD can be effective in ameliorating IBD. Based on the anti-inflammatory effects of FMD observed in a clinical trial in healthy subjects, the use of FMD as a potentially effective measure to ameliorate IBD in humans deserves further research in controlled clinical studies.”

The study in mice also found that FMD cycles had a significant positive effect in terms of reversing intestinal permeability (also known as “leaky gut”), when compared with water-only fasting, which had no such effect. Mice provided FMD cycles benefited from an increase in the abundance of probiotic-associated bacteria families such as Lactobacillaceae and Bifidobacteriaceae, while also regulating the abundance of other microbial strains to restore a balanced gut microbiome and improve IBD-associated symptoms.

“Randomized clinical trials on IBD patients are necessary to test the hypothesis that FMD cycles may be beneficial in human subjects with IBD. However, this preclinical study brings new hope for the millions of people around the world who suffer from and struggle with IBD,” said Joseph Antoun, MD, CEO of L-Nutra, developers of ProLon FMD, the first commercially available Fasting Mimicking Diet to provide the health benefits of periodic fasting and support healthy aging, cell rejuvenation, and fat-driven weight loss. “FMD cycles of 5 days per month have been clinically shown effective for weight loss and the reduction of a number of age-related risk factors, including inflammation among at risk subjects. These newly published data about IBD symptom reduction through such diet practices in mice is a promising development for the future of FMDs.”

The promising research news for IBD patients follows a growing body of evidence indicating that FMD may be beneficial in managing a number of additional health conditions. In 2017, for example, a clinical study published in Science Translational Medicine demonstrated that FMD cycles reduced body weight and total body fat; lowered blood pressure; and decreased insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1).

“It is also important to note that the data in this latest study in mice indicate that FMD cycles may be superior to water-only fasting for ameliorating IBD conditions,” Antoun said. “And from a scientific perspective, the study in mice is also revelatory in that it shows significant microbiome composition changes with FMD for the first time, which could indicate potential additional health-related benefits. FMD has already shown superior compliance and safety compared to water-only fasting, and now with this mouse study, it promises effective support for the care of IBD, the microbiome composition and gut regeneration.”

About L-Nutra

L-Nutra’s team of researchers and collaborators are leaders in the field of nutrition related to longevity and healthspan. L-Nutra has the exclusive rights from the University of Southern California to market ProLon® FMD, which mimics and enhances the effects of fasting, enhances the body’s natural ability to rejuvenate itself, and promotes healthy longevity. L-Nutra’s nutri-technologies are the result of decades of state-of-the-art lab and clinical research to demonstrate safety and efficacy. For more information, please visit and


Media Contact:
For more information, to arrange interviews or receive visuals, please contact Paul Williams,, 310/569-0023


Source: L-Nutra

Back to news