Fasting involves depriving the body of food for given periods of time. There are some variations of fasting diets that have gained traction over the past few years, for their purported health benefits. A new study has indicated that fasting and going back to traditional diets may help against autoimmune diseases like lupus. The study has further said that what and how a person eats may be a bigger determining factor for susceptibility to certain autoimmune disorders than even our genes. The study said that fasting and traditional diets may be better for us as compared to 'western diets' that are rich in fats and sugar.
The study titled, "Gene-diet interactions associated with complex trait variation in an advanced intercross outbred mouse line" was published in the journal Nature Communications. The study was conducted on mice models, by researchers from Lubeck Institute of Experimental Dermatology. For the study, the researchers fed mice of an autoimmunity-prone intercross line (AIL) three different types of diet, including a control diet, a traditional diet including whole grains, fish, vegetables, olive oil etc., and finally a western diet, defined by high sugar content and fat-rich foods like red meat burgers, pizzas, greasy foods etc.
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The researchers found that mice on western diets had an increased prevalence of the autoimmune disease lupus. Lupus is a disease where the immune system attacks its own tissues. They found that diets that restricted calorie intake offered protective benefits. The study said in its report, "Hence, we demonstrate that diet overrides genetic susceptibility and delays disease onset. Similar to other studies, we found that diet reshapes the gut microbiome and possibly prompts differences in disease susceptibility. Additionally, we show that these effects of diet are not limited to the gut microbiome but extend to the gut mycobiome. Furthermore, our data indicates that alterations in intestinal bacterial and fungal communities precede the onset of lupus."
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