Intermittent fasting modulation of the diabetic syndrome in sand rats. II. In vivo investigations

Int J Mol Med. 2010 Nov;26(5):759-65. doi: 10.3892/ijmm_00000523.


This study deals with the effects of daily intermittent fasting for 15 h upon the development of diabetes in sand rats exposed to a hypercaloric diet. The same pattern of daily intermittent fasting was imposed on sand rats maintained on a purely vegetal diet (control animals). Over the last 30 days of the present experiments, non-fasting animals gained weight, whilst intermittently fasting sand rats lost weight. In this respect, there was no significant difference between control animals and either diabetic or non-diabetic sand rats exposed to the hypercaloric diet. The postprandial glycemia remained fairly stable in the control animals. During a 3-week transition period from a purely vegetal to a hypercaloric diet, the post-prandial glycemia increased by 5.95 ± 1.26 mM (n=6) in diabetic sand rats, as distinct from an increase of only 0.45 ± 0.56 mM (n=6) in the non-diabetic animals. During the intermittent fasting period, the postprandial glycemia decreased significantly in the diabetic animals, but not so in the non-diabetic sand rats. Before the switch in food intake, the peak glycemia at the 30th min of an intraperitoneal glucose tolerance test was already higher in the diabetic than non-diabetic rats. In both the non-diabetic and diabetic sand rats, intermittent fasting prevented the progressive deterioration of glucose tolerance otherwise observed in non-fasting animals. These findings reveal that, at least in sand rats, intermittent daily fasting prevents the progressive deterioration of glucose tolerance otherwise taking place when these animals are exposed to a hypercaloric diet.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose
  • Caloric Restriction*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / diet therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / metabolism
  • Eating
  • Fasting / physiology*
  • Gerbillinae
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Rats


  • Blood Glucose