Can Intermittent Fasting Help Reverse Diabetes? New Research Reveals

Diabetes is a lifelong disease whose primary symptoms are high blood sugar and resistance to insulin. Also known as the ‘silent killer’, Diabetes is a condition that affects millions globally. In 2021 alone, almost 537 million people were said to be living with diabetes worldwide. Luckily, diabetes is manageable with the right kind of diet and some lifestyle changes. One such diet that has been trending lately is Intermittent Fasting (IF). Could this diet also have a significant impact on reversing diabetes? A new study by researchers in China reveals that there could be a link between the two.

The study has been published on December 14, 2022, in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. Researchers carried out the study on 72 participants aged between 38-72 years. Their Body Mass Index (BMI) was in the range of 19 to 30 and the group was predominantly male. The participants were asked to do three months of intermittent fasting (IF), followed by three months of follow-up. As per the results of the study, 47.2% of participants achieved diabetes remission, that is, they managed to reverse diabetes. The mean body weight of the group also fell by 5.93 kilograms and one person in the group did not even need medication for diabetes.

(Also Read: Diabetes Diet Tips: 5 Herbs And Spices That May Help Manage Blood Sugar)

Diet can play an important role in managing diabetes. Photo: iStock

What Is Intermittent Fasting? All About IF Diet For Diabetics

Intermittent Fasting (IF) is basically a diet that tweaks the timings of your meals so that the fasting period extends more than the eating period. Thus, you can follow a certain set pattern to eat within a limited time frame and give your body time to digest, rejuvenate and burn up calories without piling up on excess food.

Rupali Dutta, a clinical nutritionist says, “A lot of scientific evidence exists that support the efficacy of intermittent fasting, both in terms of achieving early weight loss and sustained weight loss.” She further adds that the diet can prove useful and is not harmful to us. “When intermittent fasting is planned properly, there are no chances of getting a nutritional deficiency neither will it create a problem with your metabolism,” she says.

(Also Read: Diabetes Diet: 7 Diabetic-Friendly Breakfast Recipes Under 15 Mins)

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Intermittent fasting requires you to be very strict with your meal timings. Photo: iStock

As for intermittent fasting for diabetics, the study has already proved its role in the reversal of the condition. Rupali Dutta says, “Intermittent fasting has been proven in being effective in controlling excessive insulin in the blood.”

How Long Does It Take For Intermittent Fasting To Lower Blood Sugar?

Experts generally recommend following a diet for at least three months to see its effects. Even the study mentioned above used three months as a time frame for studying the effects of intermittent fasting on diabetes patients. Do not follow any diet blindly and always consult a qualified medical expert or dietitian before making any major changes to the diet. 

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.

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