Fasting-Mimicking Diet Reduces Trimethylamine N-Oxide Levels and Improves Serum Biochemical Parameters in Healthy Volunteers

Melita Videja (Coresponding Author), Eduards Sevostjanovs, Sabine Upmale-Engela, Edgars Liepinsh, Ilze Konrade, Maija Dambrova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
57 Downloads (Pure)


Elevated plasma levels of trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) have been proposed as a diet-derived biomarker of cardiometabolic disease risk. Caloric restriction is the most common dietary intervention used to improve cardiometabolic health; however, novel trends suggest a fasting-mimicking diet (FMD) as a more feasible alternative. FMD is a variation of intermittent fasting, based on caloric restriction and limitation of protein sources of animal origin, applied in daily cycles during a 5-day period. As TMAO is intensively produced by gut microbiota after the consumption of animal-derived products, we aim to investigate whether a 5-day FMD affects plasma TMAO levels and markers of metabolic health. To investigate whether an increase in vegetable intake possesses similar effects on TMAO levels and metabolic parameters, healthy volunteers (n = 24) were subjected to a 5-day FMD and 19 volunteers served as a reference group (VEG). This group of volunteers consumed an additional four servings of vegetables per day, but otherwise stayed on their usual diet. FMD resulted in a twofold decrease in plasma TMAO levels, which was not evident in the volunteers from the VEG group. Moreover, FMD led to a weight loss of 2.8 ± 0.2 kg and a subsequent reduction in BMI compared to baseline. The FMD group exhibited a significant elevation in plasma ketone bodies (14-fold compared to baseline) and a decrease in IGF-1 levels by 37 ± 8 ng/mL. Since fasting glucose and C-peptide levels decreased, all volunteers in the FMD group showed improved insulin sensitivity and a decreased HOMA-IR index. In contrast, in the VEG group, only a slight reduction in plasma levels of fasting glucose and triglycerides was noted. In conclusion, we show that FMD is a viable strategy to reduce plasma levels of TMAO by limiting caloric intake and animal-derived protein consumption. The reduction in the level of TMAO could be an additional benefit of FMD, leading to a reduced risk of cardiometabolic diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1093
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022


  • Cardiometabolic risk
  • Fasting-mimicking diet
  • Insulin sensitivity
  • Trimethylamine N-oxide
  • Weight loss

Field of Science*

  • 3.1 Basic medicine
  • 3.3 Health sciences

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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