From Science Daily:

Evidence is mounting that a diet mimicking the effects of fasting has health benefits beyond weight loss, with a new USC-led study indicating that it may reduce symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

Scientists discovered that the diet triggers a death-and-life process for cells that appears critical for the body’s repair.

“During the fasting-mimicking diet, cortisone is produced and that initiates a killing of autoimmune cells,” said Valter Longo, the study’s lead author and professor who directs the USC Longevity Institute at the Davis School of Gerontology. “This process also leads to the production of new healthy cells.”

The new study, published in the journal Cell Reports, included mice and human patients who have multiple sclerosis.

The neurological disease affects an estimated 350,000 Americans, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Symptoms range from blurred vision to paralysis.

These latest findings follow studies by the same USC lab that showed cycles of a similar but shorter fasting-mimicking diet, when paired with drug treatments for cancer, protect normal cells while weakening cancerous ones. In a separate study published last year, the lab found that the diet can cut visceral belly fat and reduce markers of aging and diseases in mice and humans.

“We started thinking: If it kills a lot of immune cells and turns on the stem cells, is it possible that maybe it will kill the bad ones and then generate new good ones?” Longo said. “That’s why we started this study.”

Study details

For the first part…

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