A Look at the Study Suggesting 5:2 Causes Diabetes
Now the obvious disclaimer here – a single study doesn’t mean you should suddenly break your fast. But it is still worth mentioning.
I’m a fan of fasting. I really am. But we need to make sure we’re not letting our bias cloud our judgment when it comes to health. I’m well aware there are studies also supporting the health benefits of 5:2 as well.
The research, being presented at the European Society of Endocrinology annual meeting in Spain, looked at the effects of fasting every other day in normal adult rats over a 3-month period. It found that while the rats lost weight overall, the amount of fat around their tummies actually increased. The diets also damaged the cells of the pancreas that release insulin, increased levels of free radicals and generated markers of insulin resistance, an early warning sign of heading towards diabetes.
Furthermore, the cells of the pancreas that release insulin showed damage and there was also a presence of increased levels of free radicals and markers of insulin resistance.
We should consider that overweight or obese people who opt for intermittent fasting diets may already have insulin resistance, so although this diet may lead to early, rapid weight loss, in the long-term there could be potentially serious damaging effects to their health, such as the development of type-2 diabetes,
This isn’t great news (obviously) but it was a single study, on mice and there’s still a lot of evidence which contradicts it. It’s worth keeping an eye on however and the researches plan to continue investigating how fasting can impair insulin function (although I wish they wouldn’t use the word diet).
If you’re not running to quit your fasting in the light of a single study I suggest taking a look at Eat Stop Eat. Not only can you get the audiobook entirely free with an Amazon Audible trial – but it was one of the original books on the subject.