Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences






Background/aim: One of the most important components of treatment for diabetic patients is diet and healthy nutrition therapy. Calorie restriction is effective and without cost increases its appeal for both patients and physicians. Unfortunately, continuous calorie restriction is a difficult method. For this reason, alternative calorie restriction methods, such as intermittent fasting (IF), have been investigated by some researchers. Materials and methods: IF refers to a wide range of diet programmes covering periods of eating and fasting, which vary according to the different regimens. In this article, first, some general information will enable us to understand the concept of IF, and then scientific evidence with respect to IF applications in diabetes will be discussed in detail. Thereafter our clinical experience will be summarised, f inally, the author will try to answer the question "are the IF applications beneficial or harmful for diabetic patients?" Results: Considering animal studies, epidemiological studies, pilot studies, clinical experiences and a small number of randomized controlled trials conducted so far, it seems possible to say that the beneficial effects of IF for diabetes patients are greater than potential harms. However, there are not yet enough studies with a high level of evidence to recommend IF as a routine part of the treatment in patients with diabetes. Conclusion: It is necessary to show which IF regimen is safe and effective, how often and for how long, for diabetic patients. This seems possible with well-designed randomized controlled trials focusing on long-term clinical outcomes and eliminating confounding factors. T his will make the answer clearer.


Calorie restriction, diet, glucose reduction, intermittent fasting, type 2 diabetes mellitus, weight loss

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