You’ve heard of it as the latest health trend taking the world by storm and now doctors have thrown their weight behind it – intermittent fasting, a.k.a. the art of timed eating.
According to their latest findings published in the journal BMJ Case Reports, the doctors found that planned intermittent fasting could help reverse type 2 diabetes – the disease where the body doesn’t produce enough insulin and causes symptoms like increased thirst, frequent urination, hunger and fatigue.
The results come via three patients under the doctors’ care who all undertook planned intermittent fasting and were subsequently able to cut out the need for insulin treatment.
Whilst the key to managing type-2 diabetes in the past involved keeping one’s lifestyle in check and controlling blood glucose levels, it can be easier said than done. Bariatric surgery involving a gastric band can be effective, but the doctors warned that the procedure doesn’t come without its risks. Drugs meanwhile can manage the symptoms but isn’t a sure fire way of stopping type-2 diabetes.
This is where planned intermittent fasting comes in.
The doctors trialled the latest dieting practice on three men aged between 40 and 67 to see if it would have any effect on their condition. All three men were previously taking drugs to control the disease alongside regular insulin doses. They also suffered from high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Two of the three patients were then put through the fasting process on alternating days for a full 24 hours. The third patient meanwhile fasted for three days a week. The fasting days consisted of low calorie drinks like tea, coffee, water and broth alongside a very low calorie meal in the evening. This pattern was repeated for 10 months and by the end of the trial all three men were able to stop the injection of insulin within a month of commencing their fasting schedule. One doctor’s case even produced this result in just five days.
The other effects included two of the men ceasing the need for diabetic drugs whilst the third man dropped back from four drugs to just one. Weight was also a notable factor with all three men losing 10 – 18 percent of their body mass alongside lower blood glucose readings – a result which the doctors say can lower the risk of future complications.
So how hard is the diet to stick by? Not hard at all according to the researchers and patients.
The experts do warn though that this is just a study complied amongst three men and much more evidence is required draw a definite conclusion on intermittent fasting’s effects on treating diabetes.
“The use of a therapeutic fasting regimen for treatment of [type 2 diabetes] is virtually unheard of,” the doctors wrote.
“This present case series showed that 24-hour fasting regimens can significantly reverse or eliminate the need for diabetic medication,” they concluded.
Given the ease of intermittent fasting, we’d suggest trying it out regardless whether you suffer from diabetes or want to get ripped faster.