Intermittent fasting diets increase the risk of diabetes?

Fasting every two days to lose weight impairs the action of the sugar-regulating hormone, insulin, which can increase the risk of diabetes, according to data presented in Barcelona at the annual meeting of the European Endocrinology Society, ECE 2018 These findings suggest that fasting diets based on diet may be badociated with long-term health risks and should be carefully considered before beginning such weight loss programs.

Type 2 diabetes is a growing global epidemic that is often attributed to poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle, so it is closely related to obesity. The level of sugar in the blood is partially regulated by the hormone insulin, produced by the pancreas, if the insulin levels are too low or the body becomes resistant to its effects, the results of type 2 diabetes and high sugar levels in the blood can cause serious health problems, including heart, kidney and eye damage. In addition to the medical strategies used to treat type 2 diabetes, patients are also advised to make changes in their lifestyle and diet to lose weight. Recently, intermittent fasting diets have gained general popularity for weight loss, however, evidence about their success has been contradictory and there is a lack of knowledge and debate about their potentially harmful long-term health effects. Previous research has also shown that short-term fasting can produce molecules called free radicals, which are highly reactive chemicals that can cause damage to the body in a cell and can be badociated with impaired organic function, risk of cancer and accelerated aging.

To investigate whether a fasting intermittent diet could also generate damaging free radicals, Ana Bonbada and her colleagues, from the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil, examined the effects of fasting every two days on body weight, radical levels free and the insulin function of normal adult rats, during a period of 3 months. Although the body weight of the rats and food intake decreased as expected during the study period, the amount of fatty tissue in their abdomen actually increased. In addition, the cells of the pancreas that release insulin showed damage, with the presence of higher levels of free radicals and also markers of insulin resistance were detected.

Ana Bonbada comments: "This is the first study to show that, despite weight loss, intermittent fasting diets can damage the pancreas and affect the function of insulin in healthy normal individuals, which could lead to diabetes and serious health problems. "

Researchers now plan to investigate how this diet affects the functioning of the pancreas and insulin. There are many contradictory reports on the benefits and disadvantages, and many different types of intermittent fasting diets. Although these data were obtained in normal-weight rats with positive effects on weight gain and food intake, the results suggest that in the long term it can cause harm and that more research is needed to badess how people may be affected, particularly those with metabolic problems.

Ana cautions: "We should consider that overweight or obese people who opt for intermittent fasting diets may have insulin resistance, so even though this diet can lead to rapid and early weight loss, In the long term, it could be potentially harmful to your health, such as the development of type 2 diabetes. "

Explore more:
How to avoid type 2 diabetes: there is more than one diet to choose from

Provided by:
European Society of Endocrinology

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