Diabetes Study: Fasting Restores Pancreas Function
A study recently published in the journal Cell revealed a potential breakthrough in diabetes treatment. According to researchers, a type of fasting diet may help trigger the pancreas to regenerate. People with diabetes should not modify their diet or treatment without talking to their health care providers.
In animal studies, subjects were given a fast-mimicking diet—low-calorie, low-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that is high in unsaturated-fat diet, similar to a vegan diet with soups and nuts—for five days, followed by 25 days of unlimited eating, mimicking periods of famine and feast. The research showed this type of diet helped regenerate special cells in the pancreas called beta cells.
Normally, beta cells detect blood sugar levels and release the hormone insulin if glucose levels get too high. In type 1 and type 2 diabetes, however, these cells do not function properly. More research is needed to determine if this type of diet can be used to effectively and safely treat diabetes.
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