Fasting may lead to health benefits

Scientists in the USA and Italy did tests on mice that show fasting can be healthy. Fasting is eating or drinking little or nothing for a short period of time. Scientists found that fasting can lower the risk of diabetes, heart disease, cancer and other diseases. The scientists gave the mice a low-calorie, high-fat diet for four days. They then gave the mice just 10% of their normal food for three days. This made the pancreas in the mice work better.

The pancreas is the organ that makes the hormone insulin. Insulin breaks down sugar in the blood. People with diabetes have too much sugar in their blood. They have health problems and can die. People with type 1 diabetes do not produce any insulin. People with type 2 diabetes do not produce enough, or it has no effect. Scientists said fasting increased the amounts of insulin. They said the tests were promising and now needed to be done on humans.