Intermittent fasting that focuses on an earlier eating window is more effective at lowering blood sugar levels than other diets such as calorie restriction, a study has found.
Researchers compared the effects of time-restricted intermittent fasting, calorie restriction, and a weight loss booklet on weight loss. They found that time-restricted intermittent fasting lowered blood sugar and increased insulin sensitivity more than other methods. Further research may help refine how time-restricted intermittent fasting can be used to manage type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a disease that affects the way the body uses glucose as an energy source. Over time, T2D can damage nerves and blood vessels.
Studies show that intermittent fasting can help manage this condition. A study found that intermittent fasting can lead to weight loss. Another study indicates that intermittent fasting can lower cholesterol levels in older adult men. Some research even shows that fasting can reverse T2DM. In one study, participants were disease free after three months on a balanced diet. A better understanding of the influence of FI on the risk of T2DM could lead to the development of preventive strategies for this disease, as well as new therapeutic options.
Recently, researchers compared the effects of a time-limited diet without nutrition and a low-calorie diet in people at risk of developing T2DM. They found that the time-restricted nutrition-free diet led to greater improvements in postprandial blood sugar levels than a calorie-restricted diet. The study was published in Nature Medicine.
How Intermittent Fasting Affects Blood Sugar
For the study, the researchers recruited 209 adults with an average age of 58 and an average BMI of 34.8, which is considered obese.
They were then randomly divided into three groups:
Time-restricted IF: 30% of energy requirements between 8 a.m. and noon, followed by a 20-hour fasting period for three non-consecutive days each week, and unrestricted eating on other days.
Calorie restriction (CR): 70% of energy needs per day with no set times to eat.
Standard Care (SC): A Weight Loss Booklet.
Participants followed their assigned diet for six months and were followed for 12 months thereafter. Their fasting blood glucose levels were assessed two and six months after the start of dietary interventions and 12 months after. After the six-month intervention, researchers found that glucose levels fell by 10.1 mg.dl-1, 3.57 mg.dl-1, and 4.15 mg.dl-1 in the IF groups. , CR and SC.
One year after these measurements, people following the IF diet still had a lower average blood sugar level than the other groups: -4.71 mg.dl-1 against -3.79 mg.dl-1 and -3.57 mg. dl-1.
The researchers also found that participants in the IF diet were more sensitive to insulin, but this was not statistically significant, and that their cholesterol levels dropped more than those in the CR and SC groups. Participants in the IF and CR groups initially lost more weight than those in the SC group, but by month 18 there was no longer any difference between the groups. After one year of follow-up, however, more people continued on the CR program than the IF program: 78% of people in the CR group continued on a CR diet, while only 42% of people in the IF continued on an IF diet for 2-3 days per week. The researchers noted that during the follow-up period, 45% of people in the IF and CR groups reported at least one adverse event, such as fatigue, constipation and headache, compared with 19% of people in the SC group.
Intermittent fasting and the risk of type 2 diabetes
Although the authors did not discuss how time-restricted intermittent fasting may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, they did note that eating earlier in the day is linked to health benefits, such as better 24-hour blood sugar control and better insulin sensitivity.
Limitations of the study and lessons to be drawn from it
One of the main limitations is that the 4-hour eating window was less sustainable for some participants than a slightly longer window. Another limitation, as always, is the sample size. It remains to be seen if these results can be generalized to a larger population, and if they can be turned into a more important public health goal.
The initial beneficial effects of fasting compared to calorie restriction seem to disappear after six months, which seems to imply that while fasting is better initially, both fasting and calorie restriction are equally beneficial in the long term.
These findings add to a growing body of evidence that lifestyle, including healthy eating and exercise, is the best medicine for the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus. learn about nutrition and chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, the more we learn about the importance of nutrition, timing of consumption, food quality, etc. in the development of chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes.