Intermittent feeding and fasting reduces diabetes incidence in BB rats

Autoimmunity. 1999;30(4):243-50. doi: 10.3109/08916939908993805.


Food intake may be one of several factors which influence the risk of development of insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, but the influence of the pattern of food supply has not been studied previously. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of intermittent feeding and fasting upon diabetes in BB rats. This study included three groups. Group 1 served as control and included 77 animals, 79% became diabetic. In groups 2 and 3, after weaning, food but not water was withdrawn from the animals: 24 h twice a week in group 2; 24 h every second day in group 3. Group 2 included 40 BB rats, 50% (p < 0.004) became diabetic. Group 3 included 44 BB rats, 52% (p < 0.01) became diabetic. No differences were seen between sexes. Degree of insulitis was not influenced by changed food supply. Regarding blood glucose, no influence was seen among diabetic animals, among non-diabetic animals changed food supply reduced blood glucose values obtained at the end of the study. Intermittent feeding and fasting tended to reduce mean age at the time of diagnosis of diabetes, significance was reached only in female animals from group 3 compared to group 1. Body weight was obtained weekly. Intermittent feeding and fasting caused a reduced weight gain in group 2 as well as in group 3 compared to control animals; however, most pronounced in group 3 and also more pronounced among males compared to females. For pre-diabetic and non-diabetic animals comparable influence on body weight was seen. The main conclusion in the study is that intermittent feeding and fasting reduced diabetes incidence in BB rats.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose
  • Body Weight
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / pathology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / prevention & control*
  • Energy Intake*
  • Fasting* / blood
  • Female
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred BB
  • Risk Factors


  • Blood Glucose