Intermittent Fasting-Style Diet May Put Diabetes in Remission

Nearly half of all participants who followed an intermittent calorie-restrictive diet for three months achieved diabetes remission and no longer had to take their diabetes medications, according to a small new study from researchers in China.

Just as remarkable, those individuals were able to maintain that remission and remain medication-free at the one-year mark, per the findings, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

This study shows that type 2 diabetes is not necessarily a permanent, lifelong disease, says coauthor Dongbo Liu, PhD, a researcher at Hunan Agricultural University in Changsha, China. “Diabetes remission is possible if patients lose weight by changing their diet and exercise habits,” he says.

Intermittent Fasting Can Mean Restricting Calories and Eating Only During Certain Hours of the Day

Intermittent fasting (IF) refers to any eating schedule that alternates periods of going without food (fasting) with meals. There are many different types of plans, including those that restrict calories for only certain hours of each day or certain days of the week. Because this type of diet has become an increasingly popular way to lose weight and has shown to help people reduce their risk of heart disease and diabetes, researchers decided to examine the impact of a very specialized type of IF diet on people who already have diabetes.