Intermittent fasting prevents diabetes by improving the sensitivity of the body to insulin. Insulin is responsible for lowering blood glucose levels in the body.
The latest study shows that excess weight leads to fat build-up in the pancreas, causing Type 2 Diabetes. The research team has found that overweight mice, more prone to diabetes, have depots of fat cells in their pancreas.
Diabetes and Intermittent Fasting
It is a state in which blood glucose levels are too high. Two types of diabetes are type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is more common and affects the body’s ability to use insulin.
It includes cyclic periods of eating and fasting. The use of certain liquids like water, black coffee and tea are allowable in fasting state. Fasting lasts for 16 and 24 hours.
Also, it involves an intake of an up to 500 – 600 calories two days a week. However, the best method of fasting known so far is 16:8 method.
This method involves eating 8 hours a day and fasting in other 16 hours. Using any one of these methods for fasting, one can halt diabetes.
Pancreatic fat cells mediate insulin hypersecretion
Fat build-up outside fat tissue, e.g. in the bones, muscles or liver, is harmful to the whole body. The research team isolated precursor fat cells from the mice pancreas, to check how fat cells, hinder its functions. They allowed them to transform into mature fat cells.
After this, they cultivated the mature fat cells with Islets of Langerhans. In result, the research team detected an increase in insulin secretion. It suspects that increased insulin secretion in animals prone to diabetes causes quick exhaustion of Islets of Langerhans.
Islets of Langerhans
The portion of the pancreas that contains the islet-like accumulation of cells in charge of producing hormones is known as Langerhans islets.
Beta cells build about 65 – 80% of these islets. These cells are responsible for secreting insulin into the bloodstream in response to high blood glucose levels.
Decreased pancreatic fat prevents diabetes
With the depletion of islets, beta cells in them cease to function. Release of no insulin in response to continuous high blood glucose levels leads to diabetes. Hence, reducing pancreatic fat by intermittent fasting prevents diabetes.
In this study, scientists divided overweight animals into two groups. They allowed the first group to eat as much or as often as they want.
And the second group was involved in this fasting regimen. These mice received an unlimited food supply for one day. While on the next day, there was no food provision.
After five weeks, there was a difference in the pancreas of both groups. Fat deposits were present in the pancreas of the first group, while in the second group, there were no fat deposits.
Current studies show that both fatty liver and pancreatic fat deposits play a role in developing type 2 diabetes. Hence reducing both liver fat and pancreatic fat is essential to delay the progression of the disease. Consequently leading to a result that intermittent fasting prevents diabetes.
In the future, using intermittent fasting to prevent diabetes could be a better approach. This method doesn’t require any use of needles or drugs and can become part of daily life more easily.