Phytotherapy Blog

Michael Thomsen's blog about phytotherapy (herbal medicine)

Fasting Mimicking Diet & Diabetes


Prolonged fasting has profound benefits compared to intermittent, short fasts (calorie restriction). I urge everyone to better understand the effects of the different types of "fasts" such as time restricted eating, alternate day fasting, 5:2 calorie restriction and prolonged water or fasting mimicking diets.

The Fasting Mimicking Diet has been shown to improve microalbuminuria and markers of insulin resistance, lipid oxidation, and senescence suggesting a potential beneficial effects of prolonged, periodic fasting in type 2 diabetes.

After 3 diet cycles, antihyperglycemic medication could be reduced in 57% of participants in the FMD group compared to 32% of the Mediterranean diet control group.

After 6 diet cycles, antihyperglycemic medication could be reduced in 67% of participants in the FMD group compared to baseline, whereas in 21% of the participants of the Mediterranean-Diet group antihyperglycemic medication had to be increased compared to baseline.

Diabetic kidney disease is the leading cause of end-stage kidney complication in people with diabetes. Investigators from the Heidelberg University Hospital in Germany published a study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism showing that the fasting mimicking diet (FMD) improves microalbuminuria, markers of insulin resistance, lipid oxidation, and senescence, suggesting potential beneficial effects in type 2 diabetes. The investigators explored for the first time in a randomized controlled design the clinical impact of FMD in type 2 diabetes patients. They showed that FMD is safe and well tolerated when accompanied by intensive diabetes care.

The study recruited 40 volunteers with type 2 diabetes who had protein in their urine (a sign of kidney disease). The group who used the five-day FMD per month for six consecutive months had significant reductions in their urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio (UACR) compared with patients on a control, five-day Mediterranean Diet. After six months, FMD led to significant reductions in body weight of 22 pounds, 1.4% decrease of hemoglobin A1C, and 59% improvement in HOMA-IR, a marker of insulin resistance. At the study's end, antihyperglycemic medication was reduced in 67% of participants in the FMD group compared to baseline. In contrast, 21% of the participants of the Mediterranean Diet group had to increase their antihyperglycemic medication.

"For a diabetes program to effectively impact the daily lives of patients, safety, efficacy, and adherence are equally important," said William Hsu, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at L-Nutra and former Vice President at Harvard's Joslin Diabetes Center. "With these wide-ranging results, we have feasibility data to suggest that Fasting-Mimicking Nutrition Program, combined with personalized nutrition consultation, can be safely and effectively integrated into clinical practice to complement current practice."

The study found that the Fasting Mimicking Diet reduced hbA1c by 1.4% and induced weight loss of 11 kg accompanied by a major reduction in diabetes and hypertension medication, while supporting mild and transitory kidney rejuvenation. FMD reduced HOMA-IR [−3.8 (−5.6, −2.0); P ≤ 0.05] and soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor [−156.6 (−172.9, −140.4) pg/mL; P ≤ 0.05]

This was achieved in just six months.

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Sunday, 21 April 2024