Body tissue resistance to the effect of insulin is considered harmful by many experts. For instance, it may contribute to obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. BTW, if you have Metabolic Syndrome, you probably have insulin resistance. Regular exercise and loss of excess body fat are two ways to reduce insulin resistance. Fasting also has an effect, but is it better than daily calorie restriction?
From a small study in the journal Obesity:
This study compared the effects of alternate‐day fasting (ADF) with those of daily calorie restriction (CR) on body weight and glucoregulatory factors in adults with overweight or obesity and insulin resistance.
This secondary analysis examined the data of insulin‐resistant individuals (n = 43) who participated in a 12‐month study that compared ADF (25% energy needs on “fast days”; 125% energy needs on alternating “feast days”) with CR (75% energy needs every day) and a control group regimen.
In insulin‐resistant participants, weight loss was not different between ADF (−8% ± 2%) and CR (−6% ± 1%) by month 12, relative to controls (P < 0.0001). Fat mass and BMI decreased (P < 0.05) similarly from ADF and CR. ADF produced greater decreases (P < 0.05) in fasting insulin (−52% ± 9%) and insulin resistance (−53% ± 9%) compared with CR (−14% ± 9%; −17% ± 11%) and the control regimen by month 12. Lean mass, visceral fat mass, low‐density lipoprotein cholesterol, high‐density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, C‐reactive protein, tumor necrosis factor α, and interleukin 6 values remained unchanged.
These findings suggest that Alternate-Day Fasting may produce greater reductions in fasting insulin and insulin resistance compared with Calorie Restriction in insulin‐resistant participants despite similar decreases in body weight.
It would be interesting to compare the compliance and drop-out rates between the two groups studied. Is a daily 24% calorie deficit easier to stomach than a 75% reduction every other day?
Steve Parker, M.D.