I’m Fasting For Science: Will It Help Tame My Multiple Sclerosis?
January 8, 20176:00 AM ET
I like to eat. Often and a lot. Now, however, my eating habits have become more than a source of amusement for friends and coworkers. Now they are data in a study focusing on people with multiple sclerosis, like me.
The pilot study, led by Dr. Ellen Mowry at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, is looking at the impact of intermittent fasting on our microbiomes — the universe of trillions of microbes, mainly bacteria, that live in our guts.
Intermittent fasting is pretty much what it sounds like. For six months, participants are allowed to eat during an 8-hour period each day. The remaining 16 hours we are limited to water, tea and coffee. No added sugar, cream, honey or sweetener.
Several studies have suggested that the predominant bacteria in the guts of people with MS tend to be different than those in the guts of those without the chronic autoimmune inflammatory disease, according to Samantha Roman, the study’s research coordinator. Depending on their makeup, bacteria have the ability to soothe or trigger inflammation, potentially affecting the symptoms of MS and other diseases. Exactly how gut bacteria and inflammation are related, though, is not well understood.
What researchers do know, Roman says, is that intermittent fasting is one of many ways to change the makeup of the microbiome, and it can quell the inflammatory symptoms of MS — at least in mice.
Read complete article here: http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/01/08/508037481/im-fasting-for-science-will-it-help-tame-my-multiple-sclerosis