A gleam of hope has surfaced for both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetic patients, after researchers from the University of Southern California carried out studies that suggest a special type of a fasting diet can re-trigger insulin production in their bodies.
Insulin is a hormone produced by the beta cells of the pancreas and it regulates blood sugar within a human body. Type 1 diabetes is caused by body failure to produce insulin and Type 2 is either caused by diminished production or body insensitivity to insulin.
The researches from California were conducted on mice which were put on a modified form of the ‘fasting-mimicking diet’, in which they were given a low calorie, low protein, low carbohydrate and high fat diet for four days.
The mice that were models for Type 1 Diabetes showed a boost in their beta cells and in turn, in insulin production and those that were models from Type 2 showed less insulin resistance.
Be that as it may, the big question is that, will these experiments yield the same results when they are applied on a human being?
Also in a population which according to the Zimbabwe Diabetic Association, reported close to 210 000 cases of Diabetes in 2015, can the studies conducted in America help eradicate the tragic effects of the chronic condition?
One of the leading researchers on the team from the University of Southern California, Dr Valter Longo told the BBC that the findings are an ongoing process that is not ready for practice yet unless if one is under strict medical supervision.
“It boils down to ‘do not try this at home’,” he said.
Another medical expert from Zimbabwe, Dr Tinashe Goronga has described the developments as interesting but advised Zimbabwean diabetic patients not to try this until proper clinical experiments have been carried out.
“It is an exciting development but however it’s advisable for people not to try it because the experiments were done on mice and eventually organs, meaning no proper clinical trials have been done yet,” he said.
“Therefore it’s still risky because there is still need for it to be done in well clinically controlled settings before it is recommended to the public. It’s just pointing to a possible area for further research but at this stage, I would discourage people from trying it unless if advised by a specialist physician or endocrinologist.” added Dr. Goronga. – Zimbojam