A new study has revealed that an intermittent fasting diet regime has been able to achieve full type 2 diabetes reversal within a few months. The authors of the study have shown that people who have been included in the study have been able to attain full diabetes remission after following an intermittent fasting diet regime. Health experts have defined full type 2 diabetes remission as an Hba1c level (average level of blood sugar) that is less than 6.5 percent.
The intermittent fasting diet has quite popular in the past years among people for losing weight. While following this type of diet regime, people eat their meals during a particular window of time. Health experts have said that fasting for a few number of hours every day or having only one meal during the day for a week might help the body burn excess fat. Past studies as well have shown that an intermittent fasting diet can reduce the risk of heart ailments and diabetes. The authors of the study have stated that type 2 diabetes is not a permanent condition.
The remission of diabetes can be achieved if patients follow a specific weight loss regime by making changes in their eating and exercise routines. The study’s findings have been published in the journal of the Endocrine Society known as Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
In the study, nearly 72 people have been put on intermittent fasting diets for three months. Later these participants have been split into two groups of 36 people. One group of 36 people has been assigned a regular unrestricted diet, and the other group has been put on an intermittent fasting diet. The intermittent fasting intervention has lasted for 3 months.
The participants of the study have been in the age group of 38 to 72 years. Experts have found that around 90 percent of people included in the study, along with those who have been taking insulin and blood sugar-lowering agents have been able to cut down on their diabetes medication after switching to an intermittent fasting diet. While 55 percent of them have been able to fully reverse their type 2 diabetes condition, and these people have stopped their diabetes medicines and have been able to maintain their diabetes remission for at least one year.
The findings of the study defy the orthodox opinion that says diabetes reversal is only possible in those patients who have been dealing with the condition for a shorter duration of 0 to 6 years. In the new study, around 65 percent of participants who have been able to achieve diabetes remission have been dealing with the disease for a duration of more than 6 years to 11 years.
The lead author of the study, Dr. Dongbo Liu, has said that diabetes medications are expensive and many patients who are looking for a better way to manage their diabetes cannot afford it. Liu has claimed that the study has witnessed a 77 percent reduction in medication costs among diabetes patients who have been following an intermittent fasting diet regime.
At the end of the study, the authors of the study have claimed that diabetes patients who have been taking fewer antibiotic medications during the start of the study have been more likely to obtain full diabetes reversal. However, other experts who have not been part of the study have said that there is a possibility of a few limitations to this new study.
The study has included a tiny number of people having a low body mass index (BMI) and low levels of blood sugar, which makes them more competent to achieve diabetes remission as compared to those people who have a BMI of 35 and higher levels of blood sugar. Experts have said that there is a need for further study with a wider section of people who are dealing with more complicated type 2 diabetes.
In 2021, the number of people dealing with type 2 diabetes shot up by nearly five times, from 108 million in 1980 to 537 million. Experts predict that around nearly 95 percent of people who are diagnosed with diabetes suffer from type 2 diabetes. The new study has been funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China.