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Intermittent fasting may help heal nerve damage: Study

Intermittent fasting helps change the activity of gut bacteria and increase their ability to recover from nerve damage

Intermittent fasting

Sentinel Digital Desk

LONDON: Intermittent fasting helps change the activity of gut bacteria and increase their ability to recover from nerve damage, according to a study conducted in mice. Researchers from the Imperial College London observed how fasting led to the gut bacteria increasing production of a metabolite known as 3-Indolepropionic acid (IPA), which is required for regenerating nerve fibres called axons — thread-like structures at the ends of nerve cells that send out electro-chemical signals to other cells in the body.

This novel mechanism is hoped to also hold true for any future human trials. The team states that the bacteria that produces IPA - named Clostridium sporogenesis — is found naturally in the guts of humans; and IPA is present in human's bloodstreams too.

"There is currently no treatment for people with nerve damage beyond surgical reconstruction, which is only effective in a small percentage of cases, prompting us to investigate whether changes in lifestyle could aid recovery," said Professor Simone Di Giovanni from Imperial's Department of Brain Sciences.

"Intermittent fasting has previously been linked by other studies to wound repair and the growth of new neurons - but our study is the first to explain exactly how fasting might help heal nerves,"Di Giovanni added. (IANS)

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