A pilot trial of a fasting-mimicking diet has shown that a calorie-restricted regimen can bolster laborious nerve regeneration in the affected region of the brain, the equivalent of 1 million people a year. In the absence of a similar intervention diet, 1.4 million people each year develop a neurological disorder, helping to account for higher hospitalizations and amputations.

A group of healthy young adults who were forbidden from engaging in physical activity due to adverse health consequences, the trial showed, twice the rate of those who gained weight and were restricted to either a calorie-restricted or non-calorie diet.

“Our study by way of food composition tested in our study showed that the consumption of the calorie-restricted diet and fasting diet not only promoted the activity level of a single neuron in a region of the brain centrally involved in memory and cognitive processes, but gave them a new advantage by generating new nerve cells that were able to form a functional network in the affected spinal cord region undetected. That’s the really exciting result of this trial,” said Federico Caporale, Ph.D., principal investigator of the pilot study. “We observed the return of functionally functional networks in the peripheral nerves and expressed the same brain function as before, and that is why we have to repeat this experiment several times to reach 1 million persons a year.”