Fasting-type diet shown to regenerate the pancreas in diabetics

Studies now prove that diet can reverse diabetes


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An experimental type of diet dubbed as ‘fasting-mimicking diet’ (FMD) has been shown in animal studies to restore proper function to the beta cells of the pancreas. These are the cells that are responsible for insulin production and blood sugar control in the body.

In type 1 diabetes these cells are attacked and destroyed by the immune system. Type 2 diabetes is a little more complex but is largely due to diet and lifestyle factors; with beta cells ultimately getting burned out from overuse (ie. too much sugar and carbohydrate consumption). The cells of the body will also become insulin resistant.

In the experiments, mice were put on a modified form of the “fasting-mimicking diet”. It is like the human form of the diet when people spend five days on a low-calorie, low-protein, low-carbohydrate but high unsaturated-fat diet; essentially intermittent fasting.

It is supposed to mimic a vegan diet with nuts and soups, but with around 800 to 1,100 calories a day.

After the initial 5 days, then they have 25 days eating what they want. Overall it mimics periods of feast and famine.

Dr Valter Longo, from the University of Southern California and head researcher, said: “Our conclusion is that by pushing the mice into an extreme state and then bringing them back – by starving them and then feeding them again – the cells in the pancreas are triggered to use some kind of developmental reprogramming that rebuilds the part of the organ that’s no longer functioning.”

Dr Longo said: “Medically, these findings have the potential to be very important because we’ve shown – at least in mouse models – that you can use diet to reverse the symptoms of diabetes.

“Scientifically, the findings are perhaps even more important because we’ve shown that you can use diet to reprogram cells without having to make any genetic alterations.”

This should come as no surprise to many in the holistic health field as it has long been know that diet is front and centre when it comes to blood sugar control. But, this new study is exciting because it is one of the first times that we are seeing organ regeneration; which is huge!

Anecdotal evidence of people experimenting on themselves have also yielded positive results. These include weight loss, lowered blood pressure and lower levels of the hormone IGF-1 (linked to some types of cancer) have all been reported.

It is early days yet and researchers are encouraging people not to try this on themselves without proper supervision.

None the less, encouraging news all-round!

Source: http://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(17)30130-7

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