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International Journal of Endocrinology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 962012, 12 pages
Research Article

Intermittent Fasting Modulation of the Diabetic Syndrome in Streptozotocin-Injected Rats

1Laboratoire de Technologie Alimentaire et Nutrition, Université de Mostaganem, 1070 Mostaganem, Algeria
2Laboratory of Experimental Hormonology, Université Libre de Bruxelles, 808 Route de Lennik, 1070 Brussels, Belgium
3Laboratory of Pharmacology, Université Libre de Bruxelles, 808 Route de Lennik, 1070 Brussels, Belgium

Received 26 July 2011; Revised 9 October 2011; Accepted 13 October 2011

Academic Editor: A. N. Balamurugan

Copyright © 2012 Louiza Belkacemi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study investigates the effects of intermittent overnight fasting in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats (STZ rats). Over 30 days, groups of 5-6 control or STZ rats were allowed free food access, starved overnight, or exposed to a restricted food supply comparable to that ingested by the intermittently fasting animals. Intermittent fasting improved glucose tolerance, increased plasma insulin, and lowered Homeostatis Model Assessment index. Caloric restriction failed to cause such beneficial effects. The β-cell mass, as well as individual β-cell and islet area, was higher in intermittently fasting than in nonfasting STZ rats, whilst the percentage of apoptotic β-cells appeared lower in the former than latter STZ rats. In the calorie-restricted STZ rats, comparable findings were restricted to individual islet area and percentage of apoptotic cells. Hence, it is proposed that intermittent fasting could represent a possible approach to prevent or minimize disturbances of glucose homeostasis in human subjects.