Intermittent Fasting Completely Reverses Type 2 Diabetes in Study

Intermittent Fasting Meal Planning Concept

According to a new study, patients achieved complete diabetes remission using an intermittent fasting diet intervention.

People with diabetes who fast intermittently may no longer need medication, according to a new study.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 37 million Americans have diabetes, with around 90-95% having type 2 diabetes. There are effective medications, such as metformin (which goes under numerous brand names including Glucophage, Fortamet, Glumetza, and Riomet). It is also known that a healthy diet and regular exercise are essential for diabetes control. Now, a new study reveals that an intermittent fasting diet may reverse type 2 diabetes without the need for medication.

Patients achieved complete diabetes remission after an intermittent fasting diet intervention, according to a new research study. Complete diabetes remission is defined as an HbA1c (average blood sugar) level of less than 6.5% at least one year after stopping diabetes medication. The details were published on December 14 in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

In recent years intermittent fasting diets have become popular as an effective weight loss method. Studies have also found that these diets can help fight inflammation and lead to a longer, healthier life. With intermittent fasting, you only eat during a specific window of time. Fasting for a certain number of hours each day or eating just one meal a couple of days a week can help your body burn fat. Research shows intermittent fasting can lower your risk of diabetes and heart disease.

Intermittent Fasting Heart Health Diet

Studies have found that intermittent fasting can lower your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Other research has found that these diets can be effective for weight loss and can help fight inflammation.

“Type 2 diabetes is not necessarily a permanent, lifelong disease. Diabetes remission is possible if patients lose weight by changing their diet and exercise habits,” said Dongbo Liu, Ph.D., of Hunan Agricultural University in Changsha, China. “Our research shows an intermittent fasting, Chinese Medical Nutrition Therapy (CMNT), can lead to diabetes remission in people with type 2 diabetes, and these findings could have a major impact on the over 537 million adults worldwide who suffer from the disease.”

The scientists conducted a 3-month intermittent fasting diet intervention among 36 people with diabetes and found that nearly 90% of participants, including those who took blood sugar-lowering agents and insulin, reduced their diabetes medication intake after intermittent fasting. Fifty-five percent of these people experienced diabetes remission, discontinued their diabetes medication, and maintained it for at least one year.

Results of the study challenge the conventional view that diabetes remission can only be achieved in those with a shorter diabetes duration (0-6 years). In fact, sixty-five percent of the study participants who achieved diabetes remission had a diabetes duration of more than 6 years (6-11 years).

“Diabetes medications are costly and a barrier for many patients who are trying to effectively manage their diabetes. Our study saw medication costs decrease by 77% in people with diabetes after intermittent fasting,” Liu said.

Reference: “Effect of an Intermittent Calorie-restricted Diet on Type 2 Diabetes Remission: A Randomized Controlled Trial” by Xiao Yang, Jiali Zhou, Huige Shao, Bi Huang, Xincong Kang, Ruiyu Wu, Fangzhou Bian, Minghai Hu and Dongbo Liu, 14 December 2022, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
DOI: 10.1210/clinem/dgac661

The other authors of this study are Xiao Yang of Hunan Agricultural University, the State Key Laboratory of Subhealth Intervention Technology and Changsha and Tourism College in Changsha, China; Jiali Zhou of Hunan Agricultural University and the Department of Shizi Mountain Primary Care in Changsha, China; Huige Shao and Bi Huang of Changsha Central Hospital in Changsha, China; Xincong Kang of Hunan Agricultural University, the National Research Center of Engineering Technology for Utilization Ingredients From Botanicals and the Hunan Provincial Engineering Research Center of Medical Nutrition Intervention Technology for Metabolic Diseases in Changsha, China; Ruiyu Wu of Hunan Agricultural University and the State Key Laboratory of Subhealth Intervention Technology Achievement Application Center in Changsha, China; Fangzhou Bian of the University of California Irvine in Irvine, Calif.; and Minghai Hu of Central South University in Changsha, China.

The study received funding from the National Natural Science Foundation of China.

27 Comments on "Intermittent Fasting Completely Reverses Type 2 Diabetes in Study"

  1. Ken Shewchenko | December 15, 2022 at 2:47 pm | Reply

    Hello
    I have been in diabetic remission for six years. I was on 1500mg of metformin per day plus 40 units of insulin per day prior the last ten years. I stopped eating carbs for the first three years on two meals per day and the last three years I only eat one meal per day. My A1c has been between 5.6 and 6.3 over the last six years. Doctors have asked what I’ve been doing. When I tell them they just shake their head.
    Cheers
    Ken

  2. Michael Murphy | December 15, 2022 at 3:29 pm | Reply

    How are you taking current meds while fasting? Most are taken before or with a meal.

  3. I am a Type 2 diabetic and am encouraged by this article. I will definitely try Intermittent Fasting and my husband offers his support by doing it with me. I look forward to no more insulin in my near future. Thank you again for publishing such a hopeful article.

  4. I am Type 2 diabetic on insulin short acting and intermediate for 15 years. A1C usually around 6.5. Decided to do intermittent fasting after reading an article. Fast from 6:30 pm till 10: am. (Brush teeth to keep from snacking.). A1C went to 5.8 for 3 years, now 5.1, insulin cut in 1/2 or less and skip often. I eat 2 meals/day and still have occasional sweets but mostly fruit, hardly ever sugar but use stevia.

  5. To Michael Murphy ….I fast, and I need to take a med with food (not “a meal”). I read that an intake of under 50 calories does not trigger a break in the fast, and that works for me. Since start of pandemic I’ve dropped 30 lbs. Fyi, I was not diabetic, just needed to shed weight.

  6. Does this work if you basically have very little body fat to begin with

  7. WHICH INTERMITTENT FASTING? WHAT TYPE OF INTERMITTENT FASTING DID THEY USE? 12HR? 16HR? 1 DAY? ETC THANKYOU

  8. Check out Dr. Stephen Fung (real Doctor, not hype garbage…) on Youtube. He has excellent information on intermittent fasting/time restricted eating, its impact on Diabetes or Weight Loss. My wife and I have been following him for several months and we’ve lost a bunch of weight and improved our health.

    • Sheron Pearson | December 17, 2022 at 3:40 am | Reply

      When i searched Stephen Fung on You Tube only Jason Fung came up is this the same person as he has alot on You tube about intermittent fasting.

  9. Mike J, thanks for the reference to Dr. Fung. Looks like it it Dr. Jason Fung, FYI for others looking him up on Youtube.

  10. The article should state what method of intermittent fasting was used (i.e. 16 hours, 12 hours). Seems a vital bit of info was missed.

  11. Some info left out of the article:

    Diet composition of CMNT is a multicomponent Chinese medicinal food, which mainly enriched with whole grains and edible medicine and food homologous (MFH) plants such as Rhizoma Dioscoreae, Momordica Grosvenori, Folium Mori, Radix Puerariae, Fructus lycii, Poria cocos that meets the requirements of a food for special medical purpose. The CMNT group was instructed to consumed the provided CMNT diet consisting of 6 cycles of 5 consecutive days followed by 10 days of ad libitum food consumption. Participants received a 917 kcal/day preprepared human CMNT diet (44.75% carbohydrate, 9.1% protein and 46.15% fat) for 5 consecutive days per cycle. CMNT diet is composed of four ready-to-consume prepared foods including composite nutritional rice, solids beverages, meal replacement biscuit and fruit and vegetable gruel mainly from wholegrains and traditional Chinese medicinal food plants.

    So it’s a 5 day low calorie vegan whole food with Chinese herbs diet, where they eat once a day for 5 days out of 15. I think the food itself being Chinese herbs and gruel might be important to mention.

  12. @ the person wondering if this still works of you’re not obese… It should, you can still do a 4 hour eating window and eat enough calories and nutrition to maintain weight if needed. The reason fasting works is because it allows the body to go to low insulin state and increases insulin sensitivity. Not specifically because of the weight loss though that can help

  13. Never eat carbs and fatty food together and if you did a one hour plus of brisk walking will take glucose level down to 100mg.

  14. Read “Fast. Feast. Repeat” by Gin Stephens. It helped be drop 30 lbs. in 90 days. It guides you through the different fasting periods to find one that works best for you.

  15. I have been intermittent fasting for over a year 12-16 hours every day & sometimes only eat 2 meals a day. I eat healthy, very low carbs, no sugar, few fruits, lots of veggies & meats. I’ve gained weight since they started me in insulin. I am currently trying out a glucose monitor thinking it’s got to be something I’m doing wrong with my eating. I’m so frustrated, I’m on 20 units of insulin am & pm, metformin 1,000 am & pm & just recently started farcical once daily. No change yet.

    • Probably you need to reduce the insulin as you don’t need as much because of the fasting. You may have hyperinsulememia which causes weight gain.

  16. Jamison Hatfield | December 18, 2022 at 6:53 am | Reply

    BTW, Jason was not the 1st Dr on the block to start parroting IF. He’s tried to use his credentials to sell books on it. I know those who’ve used IF on their own for 40 yrs & are wholefood based. They thrive, with or without a “study.” Almost all “studies” are paid-for manipulation. Please read that last sentence again, then think & observe on it for 3 months before responding.

    • Hey Mike,

      It depends on what wotks for you. You will have to.find how your body reacts to the diffrent variables of fasting. For you it might be 12/12 or 16/8

      I do 23/1 fasting and maintain exactly 160lbs. I do have a physically demanding job and have been doing this for over 15 years. I eat very little sugar or carbs (next to none) and I do eat meat regularly.

      This works for me but it is very dificult to maintain. Try diffrent times to figure out what works for you!

      Good luck everyone!!!

  17. I have been on intermittent fasting for five months and have lost 47 lbs since July 2022 my A1C went from 7.3 to 6.7 and in the last month my glucose has been between 90-125 my doctor said it was in the normal range and I have reduced the metformin from 2000 mg to 500 mg a day and I walk 2 miles most days.
    So I’m a believer in intermittent fasting and exercise and will have reversed my type 2 diabetes soon and can stop the meds soon.

  18. Thank you very much I have started two meal a day and getting benefits of type2 diabetes. I read it earlier and now got more confirmation. Hope will be cured soon.

  19. Participants followed the 15-day cycle of the CMNT diet — five modified fasting days followed by 10 days of eating normally — for a total of six times during the three-month trial.

    On the modified fasting days, subjects ate foods prepared by the scientists and included ingredients such as wheat, barley, rice, rye, and oat. The macronutrient breakdown of the CMNT diet was 46 percent carbs, 46 percent fat, and 8 percent protein, which added up to 840 calories — about one-third of the daily recommended calories for the average U.S. male.

    Unlike some IF diets, participants were able to eat the prescribed foods at regular intervals: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

  20. Truth , best thing I ever did for myself was trying
    Intermittent fasting, I lost 25 lbs just eating my dinner at 6pm and even had snacks before going to bed! Black coffee, water,cranberry juice 100% is my liquid throughout my day!
    I’m insulin Resistant taking 1000 mg.metformin daily.
    I plan on going back on routine after Holidays to keep my weight down and AIC numbers which are hooving 5.9

  21. One of my older brothers did this it works ,plus he walked an hr every day

  22. Why is the vital info about what type of fasting and other interventions they used left out? It mentioned Chinese Medicine, which could potentially mean they were also eating certain foods or taking herbs etc. As well as there just being lots of variations in methods of fasting…

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