|FMD is similar to the ketogenic diet. |
Source: Matt Dobson
How does it all work? Fasting is inherently stressful and damaging to the body, so a return to normal eating patterns (previous bad habits not required!) stimulates tissue regeneration by stem cells and other mechanisms. A fast-mimicking diet done in short bursts of several days avoids the negative side effects while triggering similar regeneration processes. The diet that these researchers developed is low-kilojoule, low-carbohydrate and low in protein, but high in fat, which causes similar changes to glucose, ketone bodies and growth factors compared with water fasting.
There has also been at least one small clinical trial demonstrating the benefits of this diet. When human volunteers completed three cycles, each for five days a month, they had decreased markers for aging and risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Overall, the fasting-mimicking diet looks promising in the fight against diabetes, and possibly other diseases, but larger clinical trials are needed to confirm its effects and how to use it.