Weight Loss and Improved Control in Diabetes Type 2 With the Fasting Mimicking Diet

Novel fasting interventions have gained scientific and public attention. Periodic fasting has emerged as a dietary modification promoting beneficial effects on metabolic syndrome and the 5 day Fasting Mimicking Diet (Prolon) has the most scientific support.

The original randomized trial was in healthy volunteers. Now a "proof of concept" study in patients on medication for Type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) has been published. 

Study Objective:

Assess whether periodic fasting reduces protein in the urine (albuminuria) in patients with Type 2 DM. 

Study design/participants:

Individuals with type 2 diabetes (n = 40) and increased protein in the urine (albumin-to-creatinine ratio ACR) were randomly assigned to receive a monthly fasting-mimicking diet (FMD) for 5 days every month for 6 months or a Mediterranean diet followed by a 3-month follow-up.

Study Results: F

MD was well tolerated with 71% to 95% of the participants reporting no adverse effects.

After 6 months, FMD led to a reduction of protein in the urine (ACR) in patients with microalbuminuria levels at baseline but not in those with larger amounts called macroalbuminuria.

FMD reduced a research measure of insulin resistance called HOMA-IR.

At follow-up only HOMA-IR reduction [-1.9 (-3.7, -0.1), P ≤ 0.05]) was sustained.

Study conclusions:

Improvement of microalbuminuria (ACR) and of markers of insulin resistance, suggest the potential beneficial effects of periodic fasting in type 2 diabetes.

Study Comments by Authors:

"After six months, FMD led to significant reductions in body weight of 22 pounds, 1.4% decrease of hemoglobin A1C, and 59% improvement in HOMA-IR, a marker of insulin resistance. At the study's end, antihyperglycemic medication was reduced in 67% of participants in the FMD group compared to baseline. In contrast, 21% of the participants of the Mediterranean Diet group had to increase their antihyperglycemic medication"

"For a diabetes program to effectively impact the daily lives of patients, safety, efficacy, and adherence are equally important," said William Hsu, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at L-Nutra and former Vice President at Harvard's Joslin Diabetes Center. "With these wide-ranging results, we have feasibility data to suggest that Fasting-Mimicking Nutrition Program, combined with personalized nutrition consultation, can be safely and effectively integrated into clinical practice to complement current practice."


Dr. Joel Kahn

You Might Also Enjoy...

Want a Better Brain as You Age? Eat a Plant-Based (DASH) Diet

A recent study led by the NYU Grossman School of Medicine indicates that women who adopted the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) during their middle years were approximately 17 percent less likely to experience cognitive decline in later life.