Suffering from prediabetes? Staying away from food, for sometime, can help you remain healthy.
A new study says that fasting can help manage prediabetes.
Researchers from the Intermountain Heart Institute at Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, Utah in US found that fasting for 10 to 12 hours reduced bad cholesterol in the body, helped weight loss and protected against diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
In prediabetes, blood sugar levels cross normal levels but will not reach a level to be called diabetes. People with prediabetes are considered to be at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and strokes.
"During fasting, when the body fails to get enough energy, it will start pulling out bad cholesterol from the cells," Dr Benjamin Horne, director of cardiovascular and genetic epidemiology at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute, while explaining the mechanism, said.
The same researchers found in 2011 that a day long water-only fasting helped lower glucose levels and shed excess weight. Similarly, another study conducted by the same team showed considerable reduction in glucose and triglycerides associated with fasting.
The new study looked at prediabetic patients aged between 30 and 69. All the participants had some metabolic risk factors like large waistlines, low good cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, high fasting blood sugar or high triglyceride level.
At the end of the study, researchers found that fasting provided many health benefits to prediabetic patients.
"During actual fasting days, cholesterol went up slightly in this study, as it did in our prior study of healthy people, but we did notice that over a six-week period cholesterol levels decreased by about 12 percent in addition to the weight loss," lead researcher of the study, Dr. Horne, said in a news release.
"The fat cells themselves are a major contributor to insulin resistance, which can lead to diabetes," he, added later. "Because fasting may help to eliminate and break down fat cells, insulin resistance may be frustrated by fasting."
Findings of the study were presented at the 2014 American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions held in San Francisco on Saturday, June 14.
Data shows that, more than 470 million people will be affected by prediabetes by 2030. Though it still remains unclear what exactly leads to this condition, previous research has identified the role of certain genes and excess fat.
Similar to the current study, in January, a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology Metabolism (JCEM) found certain traditional Chinese herbs highly effective in preventing progression of prediabetes.
Here are some methods that help manage prediabetes as provided by Mayo Clinic, US:
- Follow a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, but low in fat and calories
- Remain physically active by engaging in 30 to 60 minutes of moderate physical activity
- Shed the excess weight