Fasting Diabetes Away

I have been a fan of fasting for a while. There are several ways to fast. Perhaps the easiest is to eat your dinner early say at 6 pm and then eat breakfast only post 8 am. This means you are fasting for 14 hours. I do this almost every single day. When you fast your body enters crisis mode. This causes your organs otherwise operating at steady state to work overtime. Researchers have documented several benefits of this. The benefits include consuming dead cells, generation of enzymes and giving your digestive system a much needed break.

Your pancreas is the organ that generates insulin. Insulin regulates the processing of sugar in your body. In type 1 diabetes your immune system attacks the Beta cells that produces insulin. In Type II diabetes your body gets resistant to the effect of insulin. This forces your pancreas to produce more to compensate till it can no longer cope. Your pancreas are therefore critical to whether you are at risk of contracting diabetes.

Researchers have been testing the effects of fasting on mice. Recently, research on mice revealed  that fasting helps restore the capacity of the pancreas to produce beta cells. Beta cells produce insulin. In this version of fasting, mice were put on a low carb, low protein diet. Their meal consisted predominantly of unsaturated fats. Nuts and seeds for example. Also it was a low calorie diet about half the standard calorie requirement. This was followed by a period of feasting. Essentially it was a fasting / feasting diet that rebooted the body. The mice showed remarkable growth in beta cells that produce insulin helping those pre-disposed to or suffering from Type I diabetes.

A word of caution before you rush off trying to crash diet your diabetes away. These are sophisticated solutions that require clinical supervision. If you know someone who suffer point them to a doctor. For the rest of us start eating dinner early.


Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.