Fasting may preserve brain health, new research suggests.
A low-fat diet that includes 40 per cent fewer calories then recommended intakes reduces inflammation in mice's brain cells, a study found today.
Such eating plans also maintain the function of brain tissue, the research adds.
Lead author Dr Bart Eggen from the University Medical Center Groningen in The Netherlands, said: 'Ageing-induced inflammatory activation of microglia could only be prevented when mice were fed a low-fat diet in combination with limited calorific intake.
'A low-fat diet per se was not sufficient to prevent these changes.'
Microglia is a type of cell in the brain that helps to maintain the proper function of the organ's tissue.
Results further suggest cutting calories is more effective at maintaining brain health than exercise.
Brain-cell inflammation has been linked to conditions such as multiple sclerosis and Rasmussen's encephalitis, which can cause seizures and eventual dementia.