Fasting can lead to remission of Type 2 diabetes

Fasting can lead to remission of Type 2 diabetes

Persons with Type 2 diabetes have achieved complete remission of disease following use of an intermittent fasting diet intervention, researchers reported on Dec. 22, 2022 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Complete diabetes remission is defined as an HbA1c of less than 6.5% at least one year after stopping diabetes medication.

“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 investigator Dongbo Liu, Ph.D., of Hunan Agricultural University in Changsha, China.

The researchers enrolled 36 subjects between ages 38 and 72 years with a 1-to-11 year diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes and a body mass index of 19.1 to 30.4. Of these subjects 66.7% were male.

They conducted a 3-month intermittent fasting diet intervention and reported that almost 90% of subjects, including those who took blood sugar-lowering agents and insulin, reduced diabetes medication intake after intermittent fasting.

Notably, fifty-five percent of those who reduced diabetes medication intake also achieved diabetes remission, discontinued diabetes medication and maintained remission for at least one year.

The findings challenged the idea that diabetes remission can only be achieved in persons with a  diabetes duration of 0-6 years. In this study, 65% of the subjects who achieved diabetes remission had a diabetes diagnosis of more than 6 years.

“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,” Liu added.