If you’re a fan of fasting diets, you need to read this.
Fasting every other day could increase your risk of type 2 diabetes, experts have warned.
Diets like the 5:2 diet, which encourages people to eat normally for five days a week but severely restrict their calories on the other two, have gained popularity for their weight loss success over the last few years.
But new evidence from the European Society of Endocrinology suggests it may damage the pancreas and impair insulin levels in the body, the hormone responsible for regulating sugar in the blood.
Experts from the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil looked at the effects of fasting every other day on rats over a three-month period.
The rodents’ weight and food intake did decrease over that time, as was expected, but the amount of fat around their belly actually increased.
The cells in the pancreas responsible for releasing insulin were also damaged and were showing signs of insulin resistance — a clear risk factor for diabetes.
Lead author Ana Bonassa said: “This is the first study to show that, despite weight loss, intermittent fasting diets may actually damage the pancreas and affect insulin function in normal healthy individuals, which could lead to diabetes and serious health issues.