Intermittent fasting may reverse type 2 diabetes, study finds

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In a study from Hunan Agricultural University, scientists found that after an intermittent fasting diet intervention, patients achieved complete diabetes remission, defined as an HbA1c (average blood sugar) level of less than 6.5% at least one year after stopping diabetes medication.

Intermittent fasting diets have become popular in recent years as an effective weight loss method. With intermittent fasting, you only eat during a specific window of time.

Fasting for a certain number of hours each day or eating just one meal a couple of days a week can help your body burn fat.

Research has found intermittent fasting can lower your risk of diabetes and heart disease.

The team says 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.

The current research showed intermittent fasting, Chinese Medical Nutrition Therapy (CMNT), can lead to diabetes remission in people with type 2 diabetes.

In the study, the researchers conducted a 3-month intermittent fasting diet intervention among 36 people with diabetes.

They found almost 90% of participants, including those who took blood sugar-lowering agents and insulin, reduced their diabetes medication intake after intermittent fasting.

About 55% of these people experienced diabetes remission, discontinued their diabetes medication and maintained it for at least one year.

The study challenges the conventional view that diabetes remission can only be achieved in those with a shorter diabetes duration (0-6 years).

Sixty-five percent of the study participants who achieved diabetes remission had a diabetes duration of more than 6 years (6-11 years).

The team says diabetes medications are costly and a barrier for many patients who are trying to effectively manage their diabetes.

This study saw medication costs decrease by 77% in people with diabetes after intermittent fasting.

The team says these findings could have a major impact on the over 537 million adults worldwide who suffer from the disease.

If you care about diabetes, please read studies that flaxseed oil is more beneficial than fish oil to people with diabetes, and honey could help control blood sugar.

For more information about diabetes, please see recent studies about why diabetes strongly raises risk of severe COVID-19, and warnings about widely used diabetes drug metformin.

The study was conducted by Dongbo Liu et al and published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

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