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Intermittent Fasting Diets Increase Diabetes Risk

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Caveat, this study was done in rats, but there is interest in exploring this in humans:




"Ana Bonassa comments, "This is the first study to show that, despite weight loss, intermittent fasting diets may actually damage the pancreas and affect insulin function in normal healthy individuals, which could lead to diabetes and serious health issues."

The researchers now plan to investigate how this diet impairs pancreas and insulin function. There are many conflicting reports on the benefits and disadvantages, and many different types of intermittent fasting diets. Although these data were obtained in normal weight rats with positive effects on weight gain and food intake, the results suggest that in the long-term harm may be caused and that more investigation is needed to assess how people may be affected, particularly those with existing metabolic issues."

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I find it scary that journalists are running with a story on preliminary findings of unpublished (ie not yet peer reviewed) research presented at a conference and giving it an appearance of having significance. Journalist have routinely showed themselves able to misinterpret published work but at least the public can review the source material to decide for themselves.

Here's a story from the Guardian:  https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/may/20/fasting-diets-raise-risk-of-diabetes


Here are a couple critiques by others in the field:


I would like to add that the details of the diet have not been stated but typically lab rat chow is a very unnatural diet of processed food substances, high in carbohydrates made from refined sugars, flour, vegetable oils, casein and soy protein.  With the previous observation that a day of fasting in a rat is the equivalent of a much longer fast in a human (probably exaggerated but still relevant) I’d expect this is a perfect way to create diabetes.  In people we know that extended fasting creates temporary insulin resistance. If you were to repeatedly cycle between extended fasting and over eating high carb high glycemic food of low quality you are going to maximize blood sugar swings and insulin response. I expect that if the research is ever published it will be a demonstration of how to spend a lot of money to torture rats with little bearing on human dietary patterns.

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