Study | Fasting and Diabetes Remission


Intermittent fasting with salad | Image by Nok Lek Travel Lifestyle/Shutterstock

A new study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found that intermittent fasting could reverse Type 2 diabetes.

Under the supervision of medical experts, nearly half of the test subjects achieved complete remission of their condition, according to the study.

More than 10% of Texans suffer from diabetes, out of which 90% have Type 2, which usually develops due to poor diet and can be exacerbated by obesity.

While most develop the disease after age 45, Type 2 diabetes is becoming increasingly more prevalent among young people, according to Texas Health and Human Services (TXHHS).

This trend correlates with the alarming rate at which children are becoming obese, especially in Texas, where more than 20% of children ages 10-17 were diagnosed with obesity in 2019-2020, as previously reported in The Dallas Express.

Maintaining an average blood sugar level, or A1C, of 6.5% or more is considered diabetic. A range between 5.7% to 6.4% is prediabetic, while under 5.7% is deemed normal, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The latest study found intermittent fasting can help lower blood sugar to less than 6.5%, with diabetes remission lasting at least 12 months after ceasing diabetes medication.

Intermittent fasting diets entail refraining from eating for a certain number of hours each day. For some individuals, that might mean one meal every 24 hours.

Dongbo Liu of Hunan Agricultural University in Changsha, China, said that the findings could help the over half a billion adults worldwide that have the condition.

“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,” said Liu.

To conduct the study, a three-month intermittent fasting diet was assigned to 36 diabetic adults aged 38 through 72. Nearly nine out of 10 participants reduced diabetes medication after the experiment. Over half of those participants saw a complete remission of their condition and ceased diabetes medication for at least one year.

It is typically believed that remission can only occur in those who have had diabetes for less than six years. In the study, however, 65% of the subjects who experienced remission had diabetes for at least six years.

TXHHS said that some individuals might never develop meaningful symptoms, while others will see their condition slowly progress. Typical symptoms include frequent urination, excessive thirst and hunger, blurred vision, numbness or tingling of extremities, fatigue, dry skin, slow-healing sores, and recurring infections.

The disease can more easily manifest in overweight or obese individuals who may experience insulin resistance, a trait of diabetics. The location of excess body fat also impacts its prevalence, with belly fat correlated with a higher risk of the condition.

While the health benefits are encouraging, so are the economics. The decrease in medication among participants in the study amounted to an over three-quarter reduction in the amount spent on prescriptions.

“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.

If you enjoyed this article, please support us today!

Formed in 2021, we provide fact-based, non-partisan news. The Dallas Express is a non-profit organization funded by charitable support and advertising.

Please join us on the important journey to make Dallas a better place!

We welcome and appreciate comments on The Dallas Express as part of a healthy dialogue. We do ask that you be kind. Kind to each other and to everyone else in your comments. For more information, please refer to our Complete Comment Moderation Policy.

Subscribe to Comments
Notify of

1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
5 days ago

Health news articles like this are important for our culture.
Keep them coming.
Often, the ‘message’ needs to be repeated over and over again.
This what sugar frosted flakes does…repeat the message.