New Diabetes Treatment Found: Low-Calorie Fasting Diet Repairs Pancreatic Cell Damage And Cures Diabetes

First Posted: Feb 25, 2017 05:13 AM EST

Researchers across the world have been working relentlessly to find an effective diabetes treatment method. However, all the present methods mostly rely on oral or intravenous administration of insulin, which works to balance the blood glucose levels on a temporary basis. Scientists at the University of Southern California have been working on finding a method that can not only regulate blood glucose levels but also reverse the disease symptoms by regenerating the damaged pancreatic cells.

The results of a recently conducted study on diabetic mice models indicated that administration of low-calorie diet in diabetic mice, which mimics fasting, caused regeneration of the damaged pancreatic cells of the mice. The regeneration of these cells further augmented natural insulin production, which in turn helps in maintaining healthy blood glucose levels without any therapeutic interventions, NHS Choices reported.

According to the article published in the journal Cell, animals are biologically programmed to bulk up during the time of availability of food, so that the fat stored can be metabolized later when food is scarce, to provide energy. Though humans follow a similar trend, the problem lies in the fact that most human beings never ever encounter a situation where they are left to starve due to unavailability of food. This has caused increased incidence of obesity and its associated diseases, of which diabetes is the most common.

According to the researchers of the study, obesity induces damage to the beta cells of the pancreas that is the chief cause of occurrence of diabetes. Fasting can help in reprogramming these cells to restore the normal secretion of insulin hormone, which was found to reverse the symptoms of both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes in diabetic mice models, News Medical Net noted.

When the same experiment was repeated on human pancreatic cells in "in vitro" conditions, similar results were observed. This has led to the proposition that intake of low-calorie fasting mimicking diet can be an effective method of diabetes treatment without the need of taking insulin injections.

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