From Dr. Fung this morning: We have some very BIG news to share with you! Just this week, the BMJ (the world’s oldest peer-reviewed medical journal) has posted a brand new study based on Dr. Fung’s research that focuses on how Planned Intermittent Fasting can REVERSE Type 2 Diabetes! This is a study worth showing your doctor
Therapeutic use of intermittent fasting for people with type 2 diabetes as an alternative to insulin
This case series documents three patients referred to the Intensive Dietary Management clinic in Toronto, Canada, for insulin-dependent type 2 diabetes. It demonstrates the effectiveness of therapeutic fasting to reverse their insulin resistance, resulting in cessation of insulin therapy while maintaining control of their blood sugars. In addition, these patients were also able to lose significant amounts of body weight, reduce their waist circumference and also reduce their glycated haemoglobin level.
Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a chronic disease closely linked to the epidemic of obesity that requires long-term medical attention to limit the development of its wide range of microvascular, macrovascular and neuropathic complications. Many of these complications arise from the combination of resistance to insulin action, inadequate insulin secretion, and excessive or inappropriate glucagon secretion. Approximately 10% of the population of the USA and Canada have a diagnosis of T2D, and the morbidity and mortality rates associated with it are fairly high. The economic burden of T2D in the USA is $245 billion.1 2
These three cases exemplify that therapeutic fasting may reduce insulin requirements in T2D. Given the rising cost of insulin, patients may potentially save significant money. Further, the reduced need for syringes and blood glucose monitoring may reduce patient discomfort.
Although lifestyle modifications are universally acknowledged to be the first-line treatment of T2D, adequate glycaemic control is difficult to achieve in majority of obese patients. Bariatric surgery is an effective treatment option for obese patients with T2D, but is invasive, costly and not without its risks. Long-term effects have not been definitively established, and failure of the surgical intervention may occur due to non-compliance with diet and lifestyle factors. In addition, many patients require surgical reversal.3 4 Medications help manage the symptoms of diabetes, but they cannot prevent the progression of the disease.5
Therapeutic fasting has the potential to fill this gap in diabetes care by providing similar intensive caloric restriction and hormonal benefits as bariatric surgery without the invasive surgery. Therapeutic fasting is defined as the controlled and voluntary abstinence from all calorie-containing food and drinks from a specified period of time.6 This differs from starvation, which is neither deliberate nor controlled. During fasting periods, patients are allowed to drink unlimited amounts of very low-calorie fluids such as water, coffee, tea and bone broth. A general multivitamin supplement is encouraged to provide adequate micronutrients. Precise fasting schedules vary depending primarily on the patient’s preference, ranging from 16 hours to several days. On eating days, patients are encouraged to eat a diet low in sugar and refined carbohydrates, which decreases blood glucose and insulin secretion. The full manual of the dietary regimen used in this study has been published and is quoted in the references.7
As such, patients with T2D can reverse their diseases without the worry of side effects and financial burden of many pharmaceuticals, as well as the unknown long-term risks and uncertainty of surgery, all by means of therapeutic fasting.
" The full manual of the dietary regimen used in this study has been published and is quoted in the references.7" is Dr. Fung’s book, The Complete Guide to Fasting.