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J Appl Physiol (1985). 2007 Aug;103(2):547-51. Epub 2007 May 10.

Dose effects of modified alternate-day fasting regimens on in vivo cell proliferation and plasma insulin-like growth factor-1 in mice.

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Department of Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, California 94720-3104, USA.


Reduced cell proliferation is associated with lower cancer risk. Alternate-day fasting (ADF), defined as alternating 24-h periods of ad libitum feeding and fasting, decreases cell proliferation. The effect of modified regimens of ADF on cell proliferation, however, has not been examined. This study measured the effects of modified ADF regimens on prostate and splenic T-cell proliferation and circulating insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) levels in mice. In a 4-wk study, 24 male C57BL/6J mice were randomized to one of four interventions: 1) ADF-25% [25% calorie restriction (CR) on fast day], 2) ADF-50% (50% CR on fast day), 3) ADF-100% (100% CR on fast day), and 4) control. Body weight of the ADF-100% group was less (P < 0.005) than that of the ADF-25% and ADF-50% groups posttreatment. On the feast day, the ADF-100% and ADF-50% groups ate 85% and 45% more food, respectively, than controls, indicating a hyperphagic response to fasting. Proliferation rates of T-cells were 6% and 30% lower (P < 0.05) in the ADF-50% and ADF-100% groups, respectively, relative to controls. Prostate cell proliferation was reduced (P < 0.05) by 49% in the ADF-100% group, relative to controls, but did not change in the other groups. IGF-1 levels were reduced (P < 0.05) by 40%, relative to controls, in the ADF-100% group. These findings confirm the beneficial effects of ADF-100% on cancer risk by decreasing cell proliferation and IGF-1 levels and suggest that modified ADF regimens comprising 25-50% CR on the fast day do not replicate these effects.

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