Intermittent fasting (typically defined as going 12 to 18 hours a day without food) positively impacts the gut microbiome and protects against central nervous system (CNS) autoimmunity. A recent study in mice found that IF increases gut bacteria richness and diversity (resulting in an increase in Lactobacillaceae, Bacteroidaceae, and Prevotellaceae families), and positively alters gut microbiome composition and antioxidative metabolic pathways. When the gut microbiome from IF mice was transferred to mice who were immunized with a multiple sclerosis (MS) model, the MS mice were protected. Cell Metabolism
→Takeaway: IF has shown in this study and in others to positively impact the gut microbiome, and therefore, could be a viable everyday practice to help improve microbial balance. Intermittent energy restriction (IEF – eating 500 calories per day 1 to 2 days out of the week) was proven in recent studies to help ameliorate MS in human subjects and may be an avenue to explore for those looking to improve microbial health or protect against/treat central nervous system autoimmunity.