People suffering from type 2 diabetes can finally rejoice. A recent trailblazing study found that intermittent fasting completely reversed type 2 diabetes in the participants and they no longer needed medication to manage the disorder.
“Although intermittent fasting diets (IF) are becoming very popular, no studies have investigated their benefit in diabetes remission,” researchers wrote in the paper published Wednesday in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 37 million Americans have diabetes. And around 90-95% of them have type 2 diabetes, reported SciTechDaily.
The study succeeded in associating intermittent fasting with diabetes remission. Diabetes remission is defined in terms of HbA1c (average blood sugar) levels, where a measure of less than 6.5% till at least a year after ditching diabetes medication is termed as complete diabetes remission, as per the outlet.
“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,” co-author, Dongbo Liu, of Hunan Agricultural University in Changsha, China, said, according to the outlet. “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 designed the study wherein, a three-month intermittent fasting diet was followed by 36 patients with diabetes. It was found in the study that nearly 90% of participants slashed their diabetes medication after intermittent fasting. Out of these, 55% percent of the people had complete diabetes remission and stopped taking their diabetes medication. These volunteers were able to maintain the new status quo for at least one year.
“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.
Additionally, the results of the study also question the popular belief that diabetes remission can only be achieved in individuals with short-term diabetes onset (0-6 years). In the study, 65% of the study participants with diabetes remission had a diabetes duration of more than 6 years (6-11 years).
Furthermore, significant weight loss was observed by the test group, compared with the control group.