According to a recent study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, patients who followed an intermittent fasting diet achieved complete diabetes remission, defined as a HbA1c (average blood sugar) level of less than 6.5% at least one year after stopping diabetes medication.
Intermittent fasting diets have gained popularity in recent years as an efficient technique of weight loss. You only eat during a certain time period when you practise intermittent fasting. Fasting for a set number of hours per day or eating only one meal a few of times per week can assist your body burn fat. According to research, intermittent fasting can reduce your risk of diabetes and heart disease.
“Type 2 diabetes is not necessarily a permanent, lifelong disease. Diabetes remission is possible if patients lose weight by changing their diet and exercise habits,” said Dongbo Liu, Ph.D., of Hunan Agricultural University in Changsha, China. “Our research shows an intermittent fasting, Chinese Medical Nutrition Therapy (CMNT), can lead to diabetes remission in people with type 2 diabetes, and these findings could have a major impact on the over 537 million adults worldwide who suffer from the disease.”
The researchers undertook a 3-month intermittent fasting diet intervention with 36 adults with diabetes and discovered that over 90% of participants, including those taking blood sugar-lowering medicines and insulin, reduced their diabetes medication intake following intermittent fasting. Fifty-five percent of these persons achieved diabetes remission, stopped taking diabetes medication, and kept it up for at least a year.
The study calls into question the widely held belief that diabetic remission can only be reached in people who have had the disease for a shorter period of time (0-6 years). Sixty-five percent of research participants who achieved diabetes remission had had the disease for more than six years (6-11 years).
“Diabetes medications are costly and a barrier for many patients who are trying to effectively manage their diabetes. Our study saw medication costs decrease by 77% in people with diabetes after intermittent fasting,” Liu said.