Intermittent Fasting Aids Early Diabetes Outcomes More Than Drugs

Benefits include improved glycemic outcomes and weight loss at 16 weeks in the short term compared with metformin or empagliflozin
intermittent fasting
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

TUESDAY, June 25, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Intermittent fasting may be a more effective intervention than drugs for people with early diabetes and either obesity or overweight, according to a study published online June 21 in JAMA Network Open.

Lixin Guo, M.D., from the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences in Beijing, and colleagues evaluated the effect of intermittent fasting (two nonconsecutive fasting days and five days of habitual intake per week and meal replacement diet (5:2 MR) on glycemic control among patients with early type 2 diabetes compared to metformin and empagliflozin for 16 weeks. Analysis included 405 individuals with overweight or obesity randomly assigned to the groups (1:1:1).

The researchers found that from baseline to week 16, participants in the 5:2 MR group showed the greatest reduction in HbA1c (least-squares mean [LSM], −1.9 percent), which was significantly greater than patients receiving metformin (adjusted LSM difference, −0.3 percent) and empagliflozin (adjusted LSM difference, −0.4 percent). The mean weight loss in the 5:2 MR group (LSM, −9.7 kg) was also greater at week 16 than the metformin (LSM, −5.5 kg) and empagliflozin (LSM, −5.8 kg) groups.

"The 5:2 MR approach may serve as an effective initial lifestyle intervention instead of antidiabetic drugs for patients with type 2 diabetes," the authors write.

Abstract/Full Text

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