Intermittent fasting dissociates beneficial effects of dietary restriction on glucose metabolism and neuronal resistance to injury from calorie intake
Anson RM, Guo Z, de Cabo R, Iyun T, Rios M,
Hagepanos A, Ingram DK, Lane MA, Mattson MP.
Laboratory of Neurosciences, Gerontology Research Center,
National Institute on Aging, 5600 Nathan Shock Drive,
Baltimore, MD 21224, USA.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003 May 13;100(10):6216-20.


Dietary restriction has been shown to have several health benefits including increased insulin sensitivity, stress resistance, reduced morbidity, and increased life span. The mechanism remains unknown, but the need for a long-term reduction in caloric intake to achieve these benefits has been assumed. We report that when C57BL6 mice are maintained on an intermittent fasting (alternate-day fasting) dietary-restriction regimen their overall food intake is not decreased and their body weight is maintained. Nevertheless, intermittent fasting resulted in beneficial effects that met or exceeded those of caloric restriction including reduced serum glucose and insulin levels and increased resistance of neurons in the brain to excitotoxic stress. Intermittent fasting therefore has beneficial effects on glucose regulation and neuronal resistance to injury in these mice that are independent of caloric intake.

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