Fasting Diet May Cure Diabetes

By Donna Bellevue , Feb 27, 2017 02:19 AM EST

A certain type of fasting diet has been found to be able to trigger regeneration of the pancreas which can reverse symptoms of diabetes, US researchers say. The organ, which helps control blood sugar, is found to be malfunctioning in people with diabetes. So, restoring the function of this organ may effectively help in improving condition of diabetic patients.

So far, the study has only been tested on animals, but the result is so promising that human trials have already begun. The study says the diet reboots the body, regenerating most especially the cells of pancreas. Published in the journal Cell, experts call the findings "potentially very exciting" as they could become a new treatment for the metabolic disease.

In the study, mice were placed on a specific fasting diet, with four days of low-calorie, low-protein and low-carbohydrate but high-fat diet at the start of the experiment. They receive half their normal daily calorie intake on day one, followed by three days of only 10 percent of their normal calorie consumption. The fasting was repeated on three occasions, with 10 days of refeeding in between, the NHS Choices reports.

The pancreas of the mice were then examined for any changes after the test. They found restoration of insulin production in mice modelled to have both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Also, insulin resistance was reduced, and beta cells could be regenerated. Interestingly, early lab study on human cell samples showed similar potential, the BBC reports.

Although results are highly promising on the effects of fasting diet on diabetes, people are advised not to try it without medical supervision or advice. Further studies are still needed to validate the results found in human studies. If done without caution, the sudden change in your calorie intake could have unpredictable effects and lead to complications, experts warn.

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