The new case report says the three patients also lost weight, and their HbA1Cs, a measure of blood sugar levels, improved.
“People are focused on giving drugs to Type 2 diabetes, but it’s a dietary disease,” said study author Dr. Jason Fung, medical director of the Intensive Dietary Management Program in Toronto.
Experts say this clashes with the widely held belief that diabetes is strictly a chronic, irreversible disease — though Fung said that’s been changing in recent years.
“In general, the concept of reversing or curing diabetes … is not well-accepted in the medical field,” said Dr. Abhinav Diwan, associate professor of medicine, cell biology and physiology at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. “It is not even a therapeutic goal when people start to treat diabetics.”
In the study, patients followed 24-hour fasts several times a week. They ate only dinner on fasting days but could drink water, coffee and broth throughout. They were all men, ages 40, 52 and 67, who had been diagnosed with diabetes 20, 25 and 10 years prior, respectively.