Impact of intermittent fasting on glucose homeostasis

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Abstract

Purpose of review

This article provides an overview of the most recent human trials that have examined the impact of intermittent fasting on glucose homeostasis.

Recent findings

Our literature search retrieved one human trial of alternate day fasting, and three trials of Ramadan fasting published in the past 12 months. Current evidence suggests that 8 weeks of alternate day fasting that produces mild weight loss (4% from baseline) has no effect on glucose homeostasis. As for Ramadan fasting, decreases in fasting glucose, insulin, and insulin resistance have been noted after 4 weeks in healthy normal weight individuals with mild weight loss (1–2% from baseline). However, Ramadan fasting may have little impact on glucoregulatory parameters in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome who failed to observe weight loss.

Summary

Whether intermittent fasting is an effective means of regulating glucose homeostasis remains unclear because of the scarcity of studies in this area. Large-scale, longer-term randomized controlled trials will be required before the use of fasting can be recommended for the prevention and treatment of metabolic diseases.

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