Many people practice fasting to rid their body of toxins and boost their health in the process. It involves a short-term abstinence from either some groups of foods or all foods. Furthermore, it serves as the basis for many popular diets. In recent years, several studies have found that there are some positive effects of fasting on diabetes, too.
Types of Fasting
There are two common ways to approach fasting. Regular fasting is a one-off regimen that lasts for a short amount of time, usually no longer than a week. There’s also intermittent fasting (IF), which although rooted in traditional fasting, is more of an eating pattern than a diet. It combines a well-balanced diet with short scheduled periods of calorie reduction. People then repeat the full cycle at regular intervals for an indefinite period of time.
The Effects of Fasting on Diabetes
A recent study observed the effects of fasting on diabetes in lab mice. The researchers put the mice on a fasting-mimicking diet for five days. According to their findings, this was enough to restore the production of insulin in the pancreas, which could help develop future treatments for diabetes.
The pancreas plays an important role in the onset of diabetes. Its inability to produce insulin results in type 1 diabetes, whereas its resistance to insulin leads to type 2 diabetes. The researchers say that fasting reversed the symptoms of both types of this disease.
Fasting and Diabetes Prevention
Another years-long study suggests that there are also some positive effects of fasting on diabetes prevention. Its effects only seem to show in prediabetes patients whose blood sugar levels are high, but not high enough to classify them as diabetics.
This is because when you reduce the intake of sugar, your body has to burn through stored fats to create energy. This helps break down fat cells, which are known to block insulin production in the pancreas.
These findings strongly suggest that periodic fasting may help prevent the onset of diabetes. Still, further research needs to take place before it can become an official treatment option. But everything we know so far supports the claim that periodic fasting does a lot of good for your body.