(HealthDay News) — For individuals with type 2 diabetes (T2D), the Chinese Medical Nutrition Therapy (CMNT) intermittent fasting (IF) intervention is efficacious for achieving diabetes remission, according to a study published online in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Xiao Yang, PhD, from Hunan Agricultural University in Changsha, China, and colleagues examined the effectiveness of IF in T2D. Participants aged 38 to 72 years with a duration of T2D of 1 to 11 years and antidiabetic agent use and/or insulin injection were randomly assigned to CMNT, composed of 6 cycles of 5 days of an intermittent calorie-restricted diet followed by 10 days of the ad libitum diet, or a control group (36 in each group).

The researchers found that on completing the 3-month intervention and three-month follow-up, 47.2 and 2.8% of participants in the CMNT and control groups, respectively, achieved remission, defined as a stable glycated hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) level of less than 6.5% for at least three months after discontinuing all antidiabetic medications (odds ratio, 31.32). Mean body weight was reduced by 5.93 and 0.27 kg in the CMNT and control groups, respectively. Overall, 44.4% of participants in the CMNT group achieved sustained remission after 12-month follow-up, with an HbA1c level of 6.33%. Compared with the control group, the medication costs of the CMNT group were 77.22% lower (60.4 vs 265.1 Chinese Yuan/month).

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“The program allowed almost half of participants to revert to a nondiabetic state and discontinue their use of antidiabetic drugs, and these effects lasted at least one year,” the authors write.

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