Getting rid of diabetes could be as making one simple diet adjustment, scientists have found, opening up an exciting new avenue to cure the disease.
Scientists have just made a tremendously exciting new find: there may be a relatively straightforward way to solve diabetes, and it involves something as simple as a diet change. The study, published in the journal Cell, found that a “fasting” type diet could trigger the pancreas to start regenerating itself and work to control your blood sugar. It’s only been shown to work in animal experiments so far, so the results are preliminary, but it’s a big new development.
The diet involves going for a fast of sorts for five days by eating food that is low in calories, protein and carbohydrates while high in unsaturated fat, so basically a lot of nuts and soups like vegans eat, consuming no more than 1,100 calories per day. After those five days are up, the diabetic can eat whatever he or she wants, according to a statement from the University of Southern California.
The results have been impressive, revamping the pancreas to start regulating blood sugar again in mice. But because it hasn’t been confirmed in humans yet, researchers are advising diabetes not to try it before consulting with their doctors.
“Cycles of a fasting-mimicking diet and a normal diet essentially reprogrammed non-insulin-producing cells into insulin-producing cells,” said Valter Longo, who is also a professor of biological sciences at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. “By activating the regeneration of pancreatic cells, we were able to rescue mice from late-stage type 1 and type 2 diabetes. We also reactivated insulin production in human pancreatic cells from type 1 diabetes patients.”