Does Intermittent Fasting May Remit Type 2 Diabetes?

Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a metabolic disease in which hyperglycemia is observed in patients over long periods of time. It is generally classified into four major forms: gestational diabetes, maturity-onset diabetes of the young (MODY-1), type 1 diabetes mellitus, and type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is the most predominant type of DM and accounts for virtually 95% of the total cases. Is a chronic progressive disease that starts with an impairment in the insulin-sensing mechanisms culminating in insulin resistance. This is compensated initially by increased insulin production.

During the progression of the disease, pancreatic dysfunction leads to increasingly lower insulin production, impairing glucose uptake by the peripheral tissues, and as glucose continues to accumulate in the blood, chronic hyperglycemia develops and causes toxicity, insulin-dependent tissues become more desensitized to insulin action, promoting a vicious cycle of metabolic decline. 

Intermittent fasting diets have become popular in recent years as an effective weight loss method. With intermittent fasting, you only eat during a specific window of time. Fasting for a certain number of hours each day or eating just one meal a couple of days a week can help your body burn fat. Research shows intermittent fasting can lower your risk of diabetes and heart disease.

After an intermittent fasting diet intervention, patients achieved complete diabetes remission

Dongbo Liu, Ph.D., of Hunan Agricultural University in Changsha, China, and his team conducted a 3-month intermittent fasting diet intervention among 36 people with diabetes and found almost 90% of participants, including those who took blood sugar-lowering agents and insulin, reduced their diabetes medication intake after intermittent fasting. Fifty-five percent of these people experienced diabetes remission, discontinued their diabetes medication and maintained it for at least one year.

The study challenges the conventional view that diabetes remission can only be achieved in those with a shorter diabetes duration (0-6 years). Sixty-five percent of the study participants who achieved diabetes remission had a diabetes duration of more than 6 years (6-11 years).


Emily N C Manoogian, Lisa S Chow, Pam R Taub, Blandine Laferrère, Satchidananda Panda. Time-restricted Eating for the Prevention and Management of Metabolic Diseases. Endocrine Reviews, 2022; 43 (2): 405 DOI: 10.1210/endrev/bnab027