maanantai 6. maaliskuuta 2017

Fasting could reverse type 1 and 2 diabetes

Fasting could reverse type 1 and 2 diabetes

Just a week after it was suggested that fasting could reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease, the same researchers have announced it could also reverse type 1 and type 2 diabetes. 

Fasting reprogrammes cells in the pancreas to start producing insulin again, say researchers from the University of Southern California, led by Dr Valter Longo. 

Fasting for four days—when calorie intake is kept between 750 and 1,100 calories a day—reverses symptoms of diabetes, a disease of insulin-resistance when the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin to break-down sugars in food.

But fasting kick-starts the cells' insulin-producing functions, the researchers found in experiments on mice and human cells. Even mice whose diabetes was at a late-stage responded to fasting and started producing insulin again.
"Cycles of fasting and a normal diet essentially reprogrammed non-insulin-producing cells into insulin-producing cells," said Longo.The mice regained healthy insulin production, reduced insulin resistance and established more stable levels of blood glucose at every stage of diabetes. A similar effect was seen in the human cells that were tested.Last week, the researchers released a research paper that suggested that fasting could help reduce the usual risk factors for cancer and heart disease.
Earlier papers have also found that fasting could help ease symptoms of neuro-degenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS).

Going on a regular fast reduces risk of heart disease and cancer 

Going on a fast every few months could be one of the best things you can do for your health. It reduces many of the risk factors for heart disease and lowers signs of inflammation, which can be the forerunner of a range of chronic diseases, such as cancer and diabetes. 

A five-day fast—where calorie intake is reduced to just 750 to 1,100 calories a day—every three months seems to be the optimum approach. As well as reducing the risk for most diseases, it also helps weight loss and even trims an inch or two off the waistline.
The benefits of fasting have been tested on a group of 100 healthy volunteers aged from 20 to 70. Half carried on eating normally for three months, and the rest were put on a fast for five days each month, where they ate between 750 and 1,100 calories a day with a special programme from L-Nutra, a nutrition company. After the three months, those who had been eating normally were also put on the fasting diet. 
When they went on the fasting diet, all the participants lost an average of six pounds (2.7 kg), their waistlines shrank between one and two inches, their blood pressure levels fell, and inflammatory markers known as IGF-1 dropped to a range associated with a lower cancer risk. 

These markers were maintained even when the participants returned to their normal lives and diets, said lead researcher Valter Longo from the University of Southern California.

About the author 

 Bryan Hubbard 
References (Source: Science Translational Medicine, 2017; 9: eaa8700) 

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