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Intermittent Fasting Beneficial for Weight Loss and Glycemic Control



Intermittent fasting beneficial for weight loss: how is it that eating time, regardless of calorie intake, can promote weight loss?

Dietary trends will continue to emerge and gradually move through the years from Atkins, Paleo to Ketogenic diet. These customized diets seem to catch the attention of many people, including patients with diabetes. Clinicians are constantly advising patients with type 2 diabetes on the importance of a healthy lifestyle, which often requires significant weight loss. Obesity is highly correlated with type 2 diabetes; therefore, patients with type 2 diabetes are often overweight not only with diagnostic diabetes, but also with the task of losing weight. This is when patients are tempted to look for the latest thread diet for easy repair. One of the most recent trend diet plans is intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting consists of several different styles, including the 16/8 method, where fasting occurs 16 hours daily, or the interchangeable fasting 5: 2, where fasting occurs two whole days a week. Food is not allowed during fasting periods; only water, coffee, tea and other non-calorie drinks are allowed. Is intermittent fasting beneficial for patients with type 2 diabetes?

Many health benefits have been associated with intermittent fasting including weight loss, reductions in blood sugar and insulin level, a significant reduction in human growth hormone, and body fat loss. Some studies even suggest that intermittent fasting could lower the risk for heart disease, Alzheimer's disease and cancer. With the effects known on body weight, blood sugar and insulin level, there is great interest in whether intermittent fasting could help prevent or treat diabetes.

A recent study examined the effects of different schedules of intermittent fasting on appetite, metabolism, and fat burning. Small cohort of 11 adult men and women overweight or obese (BMI 25 – 35 mg / m2) practiced two different eating time strategies in a random order: a three-hour control schedule over a 12-hour period with breakfast at 8 o'clock and dinner at 20 o'clock, and an early restricted-feeding (eTRF) schedule of three meals for six. hour period with breakfast at 8 o'clock and dinner at 14 o'clock. Each schedule provided the same amount and type of food as the others. On the fourth day of each diet, researchers measured participants' metabolism in a breathing room that measures calories, carbohydrates, fat, and protein burned. Participants' appetite levels were trimmed every 3 hours during waking, and their hungry hormone levels, ghrelin. Results showed that the eTRF schedule decreased levels of hunger hormone, ghrenlin; decreased appetite; and increased fat burning. This study had a significantly low population but provides some objective measurements in relation to the metabolic effects of intermittent fasting.

Previous studies have conflicted as to whether intermittent fasting weight was attributed to burning more calories or decreasing appetite. The evidence from this recent study appears to be that the effect is not on the amount of calories burned, but rather on the increased overall efficiency of the metabolism. By limiting the time period you can eat, the amount of calories consumed intermittently will decrease in most people. Also, it is evident that a significant decrease in appetite occurs during intermittent fasting. An observational study examined the effect of intermittent fasting for 24 hours for 2-3 days a week on diabetes. Three men with overweight, hypertension and hyperlipidemia could lose 10-18% of their body weight, reduce their fasting blood sugars and HbA1c, and stop most, if not all, diabetes medicines. Although this study was only observable with only 3 patients, it is very important to hear about patients taking diabetic medications from their treatment plan.

While patients with diabetes seek a cure for obesity to maintain glycemic control, intermittent fasting may be a topic of discussion to address. It is important to discuss the risk of hypoglycemia during fasting periods. While educating patients on proper carbohydrate counting, consumption of important foods, and proper exercise, intermittent fasting may be a good recommendation for patients with diabetes.

Practice Pearls:

  • Intermittent fasting is a diet that involves restricting calorie intake for periods such as 16/24 hours daily or for several days a week.
  • Intermittent fasting is shown to reduce appetite and hunger hormone, and increase fat burning to indicate weight loss, which can be effective for patients with diabetes and obesity.
  • Further research is needed to determine the cause between intermittent fasting and glycemic control.

In this special interview, Dr. Mark Mattson discusses what resources are available to explain the intermittent diet and how to get started. Dr. Mark Mattson is Head of the Neuroscience Laboratory at The National Institute of Agrametric Intramural Research Program at the NIH. He is also a professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University. Part 1

References to "Intermittent Rail Benefit for Weight Loss and Glycemic Control":

"Meal-Timing Strategies Appeal to Lower Appetite and Plow Fat Fating. "MDLinx, www.mdlinx.com/family-medicine/top-medical-news/article/2019/07/24/7573512?uic=ZZCE628C21DABE45DF95C1A9308F554865&utmma_a Minor Morning25 July & utm_term = Daily Update Minority Update.

"Scheduled Intermittent Railroad Can Help Reverse Type 2 Diabetes, Suggested Doctors." BMJ, www.bmj.com/company/newsroom/planned-intermittent-fasting-may-help-reverse-type-2-diabetes-suggest-doctors/.

Amber Satz, PharmD Candidate, LECOM School of Pharmacy


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