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Fasting-Mimicking-Diet does not reduce skeletal muscle function in healthy young adults: a randomized control trial



The aim of this study was to evaluate the short- and long-term effects of the Fasting-Mimicking-Diet (FMD) intervention on neuromuscular parameters of force production in healthy young men.


Twenty-four physically active men completed the study. Participants were randomly assigned to Fasting-Mimicking (FMD) or Normal Diet (ND) and asked to follow three cycles of dietary intervention. Neuromuscular parameters of force production during maximal voluntary isometric contractions (MVCs) with the leg extensors muscles and anthropometrics were measured at baseline (T0), at the end of the first cycle (T1), and 7–10 days after the 3rd cycle of the nutritional intervention (T2). The study was registered on (No. NCT04476615).


There was a significant decrease in body mass at T1 for FMD (− 2.6 kg, ∆ from baseline, on average; p < 0.05) but not in ND (− 0.1 kg;). Neuromuscular parameters of force production, muscle volume, and MVC torque did not change or differ between groups across visits. Results were similar even when parameters were normalized by muscle volume.


The consumption of FMD in a group of young healthy male subjects showed to be feasible, and it did not affect neuromuscular parameters of force production. The results suggest that FMD could be safely adopted by strength athletes without detrimental effects on force and muscle volume. Further research in clinical population at risk of muscle mass loss, such as elderly and obese subjects with sarcopenia, is warranted.

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Analysis of variance


Body Mass Index


Caloric restriction


Dietary restriction






International physical activity questionnaire


Maximal rate of force development


Maximal rate of relaxation


Maximal voluntary isometric contraction


Normal diet


Peripheral nerve stimulation

Qtwpot :

Potentiated single twitch


12-Item Short Form Health Survey


Stimulation intensity


Voluntary activation


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This research was funded in part by the Create Cures Foundation.

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Authors and Affiliations



MV, VDL, and MB conceived and designed the study; MN and FR performed the experiment; MN, FR, and MB analyzed the data; MN and MB wrote the manuscript; MN, MV, VDL, and MB reviewed the manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Matteo Bertucco.

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Conflict of interest

VDL has equity interest in L-Nutra, a company that develops medical food. All other authors have no conflicts of interest to declare that are relevant to the content of this article.

Ethical approval

The research protocol was approved by the protocol local ethical committee (No. 140166/2017) and conformed to the most recent revisions of the Declaration of Helsinki.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all the participants enrolled for this study.

Data availability

The datasets generated during and/or analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

Code availability

Not applicable.

Additional information

Communicated by Michalis G Nikolaidis.

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Nardon, M., Venturelli, M., Ruzzante, F. et al. Fasting-Mimicking-Diet does not reduce skeletal muscle function in healthy young adults: a randomized control trial. Eur J Appl Physiol 122, 651–661 (2022).

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