Fasting to Prevent Diabetes?

fasting to prevent diabetes


Fasting has been a human tradition for thousands of years. Whether for religious, political, or  perceived health benefits, people all over the world still practice some sort of abstinence from food for a 24 hour period of time. In some forms of fasting, liquids are not allowed either.

Humans can survive for weeks fasting while drinking water. Without water, a person will die within a few days.

In an interesting in Medical News Today, researchers have found that people with prediabetes who practice intermittent fasting have a better chance of averting diabetes as well as heart disease. This is interesting as over 86 millions Americans have prediabetes.

How does fasting help?

People with prediabetes (and type 2 diabetes) suffer from insulin resistance. Unlike type 1 diabetes, the pancreas manufacturers insulin, but not enough to lower blood glucose levels. The body’s cells have become resistant to the glucose lowering effects of insulin. The more fat cells and bad cholesterol in the body, the higher the resistance. The pancreas goes into overload, trying to produce ever more insulin, but it does not help and may even damage the pancreas.

After 12 hours of fasting, our body runs out of fuel so it starts burning fat cells to generate the energy required to function. Researchers theorize that this burning of fat cells decreases insulin resistance. In any case, the observed success did not happen in a single 24 hour fasting (with water allowed). It happened over the course of 6 weeks, with several fasting days.

Will physicians start prescribing weekly fasting days to patients?

  • Mia

    You should not be promoting fasting for anything other than religious reasons. It’s not healthy.

    • Fooducate

      Hi Mia, we are not promoting, we are informing. There is a big difference.

    • Nutrition Nate

      Evidence Mia?

    • josh

      Mia is absolutely clueless. I’ve been intermittent fasting for 2 years and I feel great and look incredible.

  • H2O

    It might do people good to do some fasting

  • Corey Rowland

    I have no personal experience with fasting but based on the information I’ve seen about it, I know it can sometimes really mess up your metabolism.

  • geewizzme2

    Thanks for the information. Without knowledge the people perish. I fasted 21days, benefited from it.

    • vanessa

      Sorry but I feel like fasting promotes eating disorders and I feel disgusted reading this

  • timlockk

    Anything that will make people eat less cheeseburgers is good in my book.

  • Dale

    I wonder if they also studied the effect on diabetes from the Fast Diet (intermittent fasting during a 7 day period including very low calories and fluids 2 days a week). A healthy diet is followed the rest of the time.

  • Jason

    As for the Christian, it teaches temperance (self control). Also for the emotional eater.

  • Meagan

    Diabetics who fast are more likely to have blood sugar spikes then hypoglycemic episodes, which not only make them feel horrible but also is not good for them in the long run. Diabetics should eat small frequent meals through out the day to stabilize their glucose.