- What is intermittent fasting?
- Intermittent fasting on Mice
- Healing and regenerating the beta cells
- The effects of a fasting diet on beta cells regeneration
- Fasting diet in humans with Diabetes – Is it effective?
- What are the benefits of intermittent fasting?
- What is the risk of intermittent fasting?
- What to eat if you have pancreatitis or when fasting
According to a study, by the University of Southern California, a fasting diet shows positive potential in helping the pancreas repair itself.
However, what is the fasting diet, and how can it regenerate your pancreas?
What is intermittent fasting?
The fasting diet, otherwise known as intermittent fasting, has become popular in recent years, and many people swear by its benefits. The idea behind it is that you fast for short periods.
This is thought to help the body repair damage without entering starvation mode (ketosis). There are many different variations of fasting methods. You can find one that will suit your preference.
One variation is the Alternate-Day Diet, also known as the UpDayDownDay Diet, introduced by James Johnson, M.D. This diet follows a 24-hour rotation of regular calorie intake and low-calorie intake.
Another popular variation is called The Warrior Diet, created by Ori Hofmekler. This intermittent fasting protocol requires you a 20-hour fast and a 4-hour eating window.
5 days of the week you meet the daily calorie intake:
2 days of the week you follow calorie restriction and reduce your calories to 25% of your usual intake:
The fasting days can be taken at any time during the week as long as you do not take 2 fasting days consecutively.
You might be wondering but ‘isn’t it wrong to skip breakfast?
In general, many people feel better starting the day with a healthy breakfast, but skipping breakfast will not impact you negatively when fasting.
However, this is only as long as you are eating healthily throughout the rest of the day.
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Intermittent fasting on Mice
Pancreas use beta cells to produce insulin. Insulin is responsible for regulating the glucose level in our body. BBC News reports that research has proven that a special fasting diet can trigger the pancreas to regenerate itself.
This research was done on mice which were given a low-calorie diet and showed positive improvement in Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes.
The mice were provided with a special diet for four days. It was a low-calorie, low-protein, and low-carbohydrate diet, but high in fat.
With this diet, they were receiving one half of the regular calorie intake starting on day one.
The following days, they were receiving 10% of their regular calorie intake. The researchers were able to repeat this fasting process three times, re-feeding the mice 10 days in between. Following this they then they examined the pancreas.
As expected, the experiments showed positive results. The mice who had Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes had their insulin restored.
Their insulin resistance was also reduced, and the beta cells improved through regeneration. Human cell samples were also studied and showed similar results.
Healing and regenerating the beta cells
Giving the beta cells a break is very important. It is essential that they have a chance to recover, and one of the best methods of achieving this is to eat fewer carbohydrates.
An improved diet, exercise, and stress-free life can generally improve the health of these beta cells.
According to Dr. Charles Burant, a Professor of internal medicine, another effective way to rest the beta cells is by reducing the insulin resistance.
When this happens, insulin secretion will be reduced, which will be enough to maintain a normal glucose level.
By increasing the insulin sensitivity, the beta cells will not have to work as hard.
The effects of a fasting diet on beta cells regeneration
New research in mice proved that a fasting diet could help Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes.
This is the result of a study conducted by the University of Southern California. Their studies show that it is possible to trigger the pancreas to help it regenerate on its own by following a fasting diet.
Dr. Valter Longo, the director of the University of Southern California School of Gerontology, said:
“By following cycles of a fasting diet and a normal diet made it possible to reprogram cells from non-insulin producing, to insulin-producing. The mice who had a type 1 and type 2 diabetes at terminal stages were treated pancreatic cells regeneration were activated. The insulin production pancreatic cells of Diabetic patients also showed the same results.”
Furthermore, Dr. Longo believes that these findings show a considerable potential of diet as a means of reversing the symptoms of Diabetes.
This is one way to reboot the body because it can slow down aging and also help to regenerate new cells.
Fasting diet in humans with Diabetes – Is it effective?
This research was for an animal study. The fasting diet on mice models of Diabetes showed positive results.
Overall, researchers proved that the insulin secretion was restored.
The insulin resistance, as well as the beta cells, can be regenerated. However, although the results show a vast potential for diabetics, we need further research for its human effectiveness.
What are the benefits of intermittent fasting?
Fasting can offer many widely documented health benefits. For many, the primary benefit is weight loss, yet implementing day fasting can also provide the following:
- Body fat loss.
- Increased fat burning.
- Increased growth hormone.
- Insulin resistance.
- Lowered blood insulin and blood glucose levels.
- In some cases reversal of type 2 diabetes.
- Improved mental concentration and focus.
- Intermittent fasting may reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol, blood triglycerides, inflammatory markers, blood sugar and insulin resistance — all risk factors for heart disease.
- Increased energy.
- Reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
What is the risk of intermittent fasting?
Hunger is the most common side effect of an intermittent fasting diet. This may be less of an issue if you are already on a ketogenic diet or a low-carb diet. Other possible side effects include:
- Low blood pressure.
The researchers warned individuals NOT to try this on their own at home. Do not make any drastic changes to your diet just yet without consulting your healthcare provider.
What to eat if you have pancreatitis or when fasting
Focus on meals high in protein, low in animal fats, and high in antioxidants to keep your pancreas healthy. Consider lean meats, beans and lentils, clear soups, and dairy substitutes (such as flax milk and almond milk).
Foods to limit include:
- red meat
- organ meats
- fried foods
- full-fat dairy
- pastries and desserts with added sugars
- beverages with added sugars
So, it’s important to remember that abrupt changes to your regular diet can result in severe health complications.
Before implementing an intermittent fasting plan, discuss the risk and benefits with your Doctor. This is especially important if you have a medical condition.
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