"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Intermittent fasting may very well be the important thing to treating diabetes

November 3, 2023 – Intermittent fasting has grow to be a well-liked and effective method for dropping pounds. According to the International Food Information Council, the burden loss method has surpassed all others as the most well-liked method for achieving results over the past yr. About 10% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 80 have tried the weight loss plan approach.

For the uninitiated, intermittent fasting This is the case when you only eat at certain times of the day, which is mostly a much smaller window of time than normal. Instead of getting up, eating breakfast, after which starting your day, you can be more more likely to postpone your first meal until later within the morning. At the tip of the day, you’ll stop eating sooner than normal. The theory is that when you shorten the period of time you eat, you’ll burn fewer calories.

Because weight reduction is commonly the goal and path to higher health for many individuals with type 2 diabetes, researchers are studying how intermittent fasting might help. The latest study, “Effect of time-restricted feeding on weight loss in adults with type 2 diabetes.” published last week within the journal JAMA found that the technique is promising.

The randomized clinical trial compared the results of an 8-hour time-restricted eating plan with a each day calorie-restricted weight loss plan and a control group in adults with type 2 diabetes and obesity. The researchers measured each weight reduction and blood sugar markers.

Krista Varady, PhD, professor of nutrition on the University of Illinois Chicago, was the lead writer and has been studying intermittent fasting for 20 years. “Prior to our research, there was very little focused on this diet and type 2 diabetics,” she said. “Since type 2 diabetics now make up about 10% of the population and the number is increasing rapidly, we thought it was important to investigate the potential of intermittent fasting.”

The plan in motion

The recent study involved 75 individuals with diabetes who only ate between 12 p.m. and eight p.m. each day for six months. By the tip of the trial, the restricted weight loss plan group had lost almost twice as much weight – a median of 10 kilos – because the calorie-counting group, which weighed a median of 6 kilos over the period.

Researchers had participants record their food and located that those that ate within the 8-hour window consumed 300 to 500 fewer calories every day, Varady said. . If you simply follow a calorie-restricted weight loss plan, you simply reduce your calorie count by 200 per day.

In the blood sugar marker A1C, each groups recorded a decrease of about one point, from about eight to seven. Diabetes remission begins below 6.5, so the development was also promising.

Daisy Duan, MD, associate program director and endocrinology fellow at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, said many individuals with type 2 diabetes also fall into the obesity category, often within the “severe” category. “The mean BMI in this study was 39, which is very high, so weight loss is part of the recommended treatment for this population,” she said. “Weight loss could help with their diabetes in general and also help them reduce the amount of medication they need.”

The common approach to this beneficial weight reduction is calorie restriction combined with physical activity. Duan found the outcomes of the time-limited eating plan fascinating. “Clinically, we say the best diet for diabetics is the one they follow,” she said. “If this time-limited approach leads to better treatment adherence and is also safe, that is encouraging.”

Varady said the authors prioritized the protection of the approach because managing medications together with fasting may be difficult. “We were concerned about low blood sugar with this approach, but the rates were no different than the control or calorie-restricted group,” she said.

What made time-restricted eating so effective? Varady says participants said it was easy to follow. Most were capable of use the approach a minimum of six days per week and still get results. “We've done surveys that show they're all tired of counting calories,” she said. “Time-limited eating was a refreshing alternative for them. All they had to do was watch the clock and it was much easier for them.”

This ties into what Duan sees in her patients. “If you think about the burden on the patient of counting calories, that is a huge expenditure of time and energy,” she said. “It’s a lot easier with time-restricted eating.”

While Duan sees many strengths within the research, she identified that one among the medications most of the participants take — GLP-1 receptor agonists like Wegovy and Ozempic — sometimes results in weight reduction. “That could be a barrier to this study,” she said. “I would like to know what effect the medication has on the outcome.”

Regardless, Duan sees the study as each reassuring and inspiring. “This is a great study in terms of looking at real type 2 patients to see if they could lose weight,” she said. “It’s good to know there is a nutritional approach that patients prefer over others.”

Because the study was limited to 6 months, Varady would really like to see whether an extended period could lower blood sugar markers even further and potentially put patients into remission. “We need more data and larger studies to lead to clinical guidelines,” she said. “But as this population declines, they can make significant progress and reduce medication use. If this is the approach that allows them to do this, we are encouraged by its potential.”