US researchers have discovered that the pancreas can be stimulated to regenerate if a fasting diet is taken up. The diet mimics periods of feast and famine. It was tested on mice and highlighted that beta cells were regenerated through the fasting. The beta cells detect the blood glucose level and stimulate the release of insulin which is used to control blood sugar along with glycogen and glucagon.
However this diet did lead to low blood sugar and a decrease in a hormone called IGF-1. Doctors have discouraged people from attempting to start a crash diet as it is important to see a physician first to ensure that the body is able to cope with such a varied diet.
Those who took part lost up to 4kg but put this back on in the feasting period of the diet.
This type of treatment reduces the need for drugs and can be seen to have fewer side effects than the traditional medication used in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.