Hailed as the new wonder-tool in weight loss, fasting has been receiving its fair share of the medical limelight of late. Now a new study is claiming that curbing our food intake on intermittent days could also help sufferers of cardiovascular disease and diabetics.
The British Journal of Diabetes and Vascular Disease published the scientific review, suggesting that diets which incorporate fasting may help people achieve their weight loss goals, while also helping sufferers of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
The study looked into intermittent fasting: swapping out regular eating days with days of controlled calorie consumption, either over alternative days or with two ‘fasting days’ a week.
The evidence from the clinical trials has shown the benefits of fasting, particularly to curbing inflammation, helping control sugar and fat levels, and even reducing blood pressure. This is because while our bodies are fasting, the way they decide to select which fuel to burn changes, in turn improving our metabolism.
Fasting is no new trend; since as early as the1940s scientists have understood its ability to curb weight gain. But only recently have studies also suggested its potential capacity to reverse type 2 diabetes in some people, and also improve pancreatic function.
“Intermittent fasting might achieve much of the benefit seen with bariatric surgery, but without the costs, restriction on numbers and risks associated with surgery,” said the study’s lead author, James Brown from Aston University in Birmingham, UK.
“Whether intermittent fasting can be used as a tool to prevent diabetes in those individuals at high risk or to prevent progression in those recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes remains a tantalising notion and we are currently in preparation for clinical trials to assess the effectiveness of this form of lifestyle intervention in various patient groups.”