Intermittent fasting could help prevent diabetes


2 May 2013

Intermittent fasting could help prevent type 2 diabetes and heart disease, according to a new report by Aston University researchers.

The British Journal of Diabetes and Vascular Disease report suggests that intermittent/alternative day fasting can be as beneficial as having weight loss surgery for treating obesity and reducing the risk of related conditions such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes

Researchers looked at a range of  fasting-based diets, including the 5:2 diet which consists of five days eating ‘normally’ and two days of eating low calorie days which are called fasting days.

The report, published by SAGE identifies alternative day fasting to be as effective as or more effective than counting calories every day to lose weight. Previous studies have also shown that it’s easier to adhere to this diet than it is to a general calorie-limiting diet.

Lead researcher Dr James Brown, Aston University said; "What we've done is to look at research that's previously published on a variety of diets and to try and tie it all together. We think people who are either pre-diabetic, or at risk of getting diabetes or heart disease, would benefit from this type of diet."

He added; "Whether intermittent fasting can be used as a tool to prevent diabetes in those individuals at high risk or to prevent progression in those recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes remains a tantalizing notion and we are currently in preparation for clinical trails to assess the effectiveness of this form of lifestyle intervention in various patient groups."

The team at Aston University is now planning human clinical trials to confirm initial findings and investigate what impact fasting has on type 2 diabetes specifically.

The report “intermittent fasting: a dietary intervention for prevention of cardiovascular disease?” by James E. Brown, Michael Mosley and Sarah Aldred is now available to access for free * for a limited period. 


For further media information please contact Eva Tabora, Aston University Communications on 0121 204 4294 or