Could Short Fasting Really Help Reverse Type 2 Diabetes?


According to a new small Canadian study, which was published on 9th of October in the journal BMJ Case Reports, intermittent fasting might help people control their type 2 diabetes.

What are the findings of the new study

Based on what Dr. Jason Fung from the Scarborough Hospital in Ontario and his colleagues stated, using a “therapeutic fasting regimen” for treating this condition is quite uncommon and unheard of. What was noticed after this trial is that fasting regimens that last for 24 hours can remarkably reverse or even get rid of the need of using diabetic pills, as the authors of the study pointed out.

Who participated in the study

Three men with ages between 40 and 67 participated in this trial. They were taking several drugs each day, as well as insulin injections in order to keep under control their diabetes. Additionally, the participants also had high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Two of the volunteers had to fast on alternate days for a complete 24 hours, and the third one had to fast three days a week. The only things that they were given permission to do during the fast days were to drink very low-calorie drinks, such as coffee, tea, water or broth, and to eat just one very low-calorie meal in the evening.

What was the outcome

One month after the fasting schedule, all three men managed to stop their insulin injections. Moreover, for one of the participants, this took only five days. Also, as the authors of the study mentioned, two of them were able to stop taking the other diabetes drugs that they previously had, while the third man stopped three out of all four diabetes drugs. As a result of the fasting regimen, all three volunteers lost between 10% and 18% of their body weight and lowered their blood sugar levels. These effects could help in reducing the risk of various diabetes complications that they might be exposed to in the future.

Since this was just a very small study that included only three patients, it is not possible yet to draw clear conclusions about how fasting would affect type 2 diabetes. Nevertheless, this gives some hope for the future.


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