Fasting Diet May Reverse Diabetes

Posted: Feb 27 2017, 5:51am CST | by , Updated: Feb 27 2017, 6:44am CST, in News | Latest Science News

 

Fasting Diet may Reverse Diabetes
CREDIT: CHENG ET AL./CELL
 

Fasting-like diet promotes the growth of new insulin-producing pancreatic cells that can replace dysfunctional ones and stabilize blood glucose

Many experts believe diabetes is an incurable disease that gets worse over time. But a new research suggests that diabetes could be reversed by simple changes in diet.

With diabetes, pancreas produces litter or no insulin. The insulin is necessary to regulate blood sugar levels. So if the pancreas or the gland located behind the stomach can no longer produce enough insulin to bring down sugar levels, the symptoms of diabetes will begin to appear.

In the latest study, researchers have discovered that a scientifically designed fasting diet can trigger the growth of healthy pancreas to replace the damaged ones. Thus, restore the pancreas function and stabilize blood glucose.

This fasting-like diet has been tested on mice and it has shown some promising results. 

“Our conclusion is that by pushing the mice into an extreme state and then bringing them back--by starving them and then feeding them again--the cells in the pancreas are triggered to use some kind of developmental reprogramming that rebuilds the part of the organ that's no longer functioning.” Co author of the study Valter Longo from University of Southern California said in a statement.

The fasting-like diet involves consuming a very limited amount of high-fat calories diet for many days and then returning to a normal diet. The mice that were put into the fasting diet for four days each week over a period of several months showed a remarkable reversal of diabetes and symptoms associated with it.

“Medically, these findings have the potential to be very important because we’ve shown – at least in mouse models – that you can use diet to reverse the symptoms of diabetes,” said Longo. "Scientifically, the findings are perhaps even more important because we've shown that you can use diet to reprogram cells without having to make any genetic alterations.”

Controlling blood sugar levels is the major goal of a diabetic patient and they use different ways to bring blood sugar levels back to normal. Some do exercise and take oral drugs and insulin injections, which may not work as well as natural insulin. Fasting diet could become a better alternative to artificial insulin in the future and may have implications for diseases beyond diabetes.

We want to start looking system by system to see how widely acting this process is on different types of cells," said Longo. "The amazing thing is that this system has probably always been there. Now that we've discovered it, we can find ways to work with it and utilize it for benefits to human health."

This story may contain affiliate links.

Comments

The Author


Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.

 

 

Advertisement

comments powered by Disqus